Six nuclear mediators to talk tougher sanctions for Iran Dec. 1

WASHINGTON, November 29 (RIA Novosti) – Six countries mediating in a longstanding nuclear dispute with Iran will gather in Paris on Saturday to discuss new tougher sanctions against the country, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

Deputy foreign ministers from the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China – the veto-wielding UN Security Council members – and Germany are expected to start discussions on a new resolution on Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which they fear could be used to build nuclear weapons.

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Iran insists it needs nuclear technology to produce electricity. The country also demanded that sanctions already in place be lifted, and said there was no justification for a new resolution following a generally positive UN nuclear watchdog report on Iran’s nuclear program.

The report delivered earlier this month by the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, stresses the positive aspects of Iran’s “nuclear dossier,” saying the country has provided extra documentation, but notes that the Islamic Republic was continuing to enrich uranium.

The U.S. and its European allies, as well as Israel, have pushed for more stringent penalties for the defiant regime, but pledged to wait until November 30, when EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana meets with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Said Jalili in a last effort to persuade Tehran to halt its enrichment activities.

But a senior Iranian diplomat said earlier Tehran does not intend to discuss a moratorium on uranium enrichment at talks with the 27-nation bloc in London.

“All discussions on a moratorium on uranium enrichment are over. Negotiations must continue, and the opposite side should recognize Iran’s inalienable rights in the nuclear sphere,” Iranian spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said.