The United States and France have urged Iran to restart negotiations on its nuclear program, warning that referring the issue to the United Nations Security Council for sanctions is still a possibility.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and French officials made the comment Friday in Paris, after the secretary's talks with French President Jacques Chirac.

Iran's refusal to grant full access to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors contributed to an IAEA vote last month that found Iran in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Secretary Rice has arrived in Moscow, where she is expected to discuss the Iran nuclear issue with Russian officials Saturday.

Meanwhile, Iran's official IRNA news agency quotes Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying during talks in Beijing that his country is ready to resume negotiations on the nuclear issue.