Representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the U.S. -- along with Germany met in Paris to consult on how to address Iran’s refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing programs, and negotiate substantively toward a resolution of the current stand-off. Sanctions could be applied if Tehran fails to comply.
Enriched uranium is a key element in the production of nuclear weapons. In June, Iran was offered incentives in return for halting its uranium-enrichment and reprocessing activities.
A written statement issued on behalf of the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany by Philippe Doyste-Blazy, the French foreign minister, says "the Iranians have given no indication at all that they are ready to engage seriously on the substance of our proposals." The statement goes on to state, "Iran has failed to take steps needed to allow negotiations to begin, specifically the suspension of all enrichment- related and reprocessing activities as required by the [International Atomic Energy Agency]." U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also commented:
"We know what the two pathways are. There's a positive pathway that could lead to potential benefits to the Iranian people. That's the pathway of negotiations and we are fully prepared to go down that pathway. We are also fully prepared ... to go down the other pathway. That is the pathway of the U-N Security Council."
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns says the U.S. "is very pleased with the strong action by the permanent five countries of the Security Council, and Germany." He notes that "Iran failed to meet the essential condition that we said had to be met: suspension of all of its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. Thus," says Mr. Burns, "Iran has given us no choice but to return to the Security Council."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.