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Representatives of Germany and the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States – met in Germany this week to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear program.
The meeting by the 6 nations, known as the P5+1, follows the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, which said Iran continues to expand its nuclear program, in defiance of IAEA and UN Security Council resolutions.
The report also noted that Iran has yet to provide substantive explanations regarding its past work to develop a nuclear warhead and other possibly military dimensions to its nuclear program.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the
meeting in Germany by representatives of the 6 nations was "constructive":
"Most of the focus was on ways to get Iran back to the table. They took note of the latest report of the IAEA director general and again called on Iran to engage in direct talks based on mutual respect. They reaffirmed their political goal and underlined the necessity to achieve results in the diplomatic track. They stressed that a negotiated solution is still open to Iran."
Mr. Kelly noted the P5+1 has yet to hear a response from Iran regarding the group's April 2009 offer of a revised package of incentives for Iran to halt its proliferation sensitive activities. Included in that offer was the opportunity for Iran to restart diplomatic negotiations over its nuclear program, including face to face talks with the United States.
The day before the P5+1 meeting, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, told Iranian state media that Iran has developed its own proposal to resolve the nuclear issue. State Department spokesman Kelly said the U.S. has received no official notice of such a proposal and urged Iran's leaders to respond to the offer made by the P5+1 –- preferably before the UN General Assembly meeting later this month.
"Iran," said State Department spokesman Kelly, "should be aware of the urgent need to restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program through full cooperation with the international community."