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UNSC closed-door talks on Iran continue

The UN Security Council has begun a second day of closed-door talks on Iran’s nuclear program, following a Monday meeting upon Brazil and Turkey’s request.

The 15-member body met Monday for nearly an hour after Brazil and Turkey asked for “a meeting on Iran at some point prior to adoption of sanctions on this issue,” AFP quoted the Mexican presidency of the council as saying.

Ignoring Iran’s offer of a nuclear fuel swap, the US is pushing for fresh UN sanctions against the country over its nuclear program.

The Washington-proposed draft resolution has received backing from the council’s other veto-wielding members Britain, China, France and Russia.

However, non-permanent members Turkey and Brazil have opposed new sanctions against Tehran.

AFP quoted diplomats as saying no consensus was reached during Monday’s closed-door session. UN Susan Rice told reporters the council would hold fresh consultations on the sanctions draft early Tuesday.

Iran issued a declaration with Turkey and Brazil last month based on which Tehran announced its readiness to send some 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total of 120 kg of higher enriched uranium to be used in the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer patients.

The declaration was welcomed by independent states and international organizations, including the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran would not continue negotiations with the West over its nuclear program if new sanctions are adopted against Iran.

Iran has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that its nuclear program is military in nature, stressing that Tehran is entitled to peaceful nuclear technology as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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