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World Powers Agree to Refer Iran to UN Security Council


World powers have agreed to again seek action at the U.N. Security Council against Iran for failing to give up its nuclear enrichment program. Foreign ministers of the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany held talks on the standoff Wednesday in the French capital.

After lengthy afternoon discussions, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the five other foreign ministers gathered on the lawns of the French Foreign Ministry, where French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy read a terse statement.

Five weeks after their governments had proposed a package of incentives to Tehran, Douste-Blazy said, the Iranians have given absolutely no indication of their willingness to seriously discuss the proposal. Nor has Iran taken the necessary steps for discussions to begin, that is, to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities.

The foreign minister said he and the other ministers were profoundly disappointed with the situation. He said there is no other choice but to return to the United Nations.

The statement follows an apparently inconclusive Tuesday meeting in Brussels between European foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's chief negotiator Ali Larijani.

The ministers from the six countries meeting in Paris fear Tehran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon. But Iran argues it has the right to develop its nuclear program, which it insists is for producing nuclear energy only.

Iran refuses to suspend its nuclear enrichment program as a condition for negotiations to begin. And Iranian officials reportedly want guarantees that the political, economic and nuclear incentives in the package would actually come through.

The six countries hoped for an agreement with Iran before world leaders meet in Russia for the Group of Eight summit this weekend.

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