UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that he favors a negotiated settlement on the Iran nuclear nonproliferation issue even after the UN Security Council voted earlier this month for a fresh round of sanctions on Iran.
"Even with the Security Council's resolution adopted on other sanctions, the door is still open for a negotiated settlement. And I discussed this again with the Presidency of the European Union and the European Council, encouraging them to continue these negotiations in the format of the E3 plus 3, and I will continue to urge the leaders of the world, the concerned parties to continue their negotiations for an eventual resolution of this issue," Ban said.
The announcement came after Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said Iran was prepared to return to talks with the West over Tehran's nuclear program, but not until late August.
The Iranian leader told reporters that the delay was aimed at "disciplining" the West for imposing a fourth round of UN sanctions earlier this month over Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
Ahmadinejad also rejected the remarks of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta, that the CIA believes Iran has enough low-enriched uranium to produce two nuclear weapons if it finds a way to further enrich it.
compiled from agency reports