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Powers Agree To More Talks On UN Iran Nuclear Sanctions

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN
Envoys from six world powers have agreed to meet again next week to discuss a possible new set of United Nations sanctions against Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Envoys from Russia, Britain, China, France, and the United States -- the five veto-holding members of the UN Security Council -- plus Germany met on April 8 in New York to discuss a possible fourth round of sanctions against Tehran for failing to halt uranium enrichment activities that the United States and its allies fear could be diverted toward production of a nuclear weapon.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said the meeting discussed what he described as "constructive proposals" for ending the dispute with Tehran. Churkin joined China's UN Ambassador Li Baodong in saying the six powers still prefer the possibility of reaching a diplomatic resolution with Tehran.

"I don't think any of us want to impose sanctions. What we want to have is a diplomatic solution, and all sorts of constructive proposals have been made to Iran. So, if Iran wants to negotiate, they should start negotiating," Churkin said.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said the envoys had what she called a "worthwhile discussion."

Earlier on April 8, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Iran could face consequences for failing to accept international demands over the nuclear issue. Obama and Medvedev spoke in Prague, where they signed a nuclear disarmament deal.

compiled from agency reports