As major world powers are set to hold a meeting with Iran to resolve the country’s long-wrangled-over nuclear case, France calls for a strict timetable for the upcoming negotiations.
Iran and the six major powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and the US plus Germany — have agreed on October 1 as the date to hold wide-ranging talks addressing global issues along with Tehran’s much-debated nuclear program.
An unnamed French official said a strict deadline should be set for talks, adding that in case the October 1 negotiations fail a warning will be issued and sanctions will be considered against Iran.
“On the road to resolving the Iranian problem, we have asked that a timetable be set, that in the event of the Iranians’ failure to respond, a warning is issued and then a deadline set,” said the French official on condition of anonymity.
“If there is still no response by the deadline, sanctions must be imposed,” he added.
The proposal is likely to be discussed next week as foreign ministers from the six powers meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Iran faces pressure to halt its nuclear enrichment, as world powers claim its program is aimed at building a nuclear bomb.
Tehran, however, has denied seeking nuclear weapons and called for the removal of all weapons of mass destruction from across the globe.
Earlier in the week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast doubt on talks over the country’s nuclear case during the upcoming negotiations with the West.
“We will never negotiate our inalienable right since it regards access to peaceful nuclear technology as its lawful and definite right,” insisted the Iranian president.