Never-ending story: six key nations still search for solution on Iran

The six countries involved in negotiations on Iran's nuclear program have failed to come to any agreement and are set to hold another round of talks.

Earlier this week, the sextet, including Russia, discussed a US proposal for tougher penalties against Tehran, but failed to come to reach a consensus.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrey Nesterenko stated that Moscow does not rule out sanctions against Iran if Teheran does not make concessions on the nuclear issue, Itar-Tass reports.

Earlier, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany see no alternative to a diplomatic solution, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

Six top officials held a conference call Wednesday and agreed that “the search for a solution through diplomatic efforts does not and cannot have any alternative,” Ryabkov reportedly said.

Meanwhile China, for the first time during the six-party talks, has agreed to discuss possible sanctions against Iran, Britain’s UN ambassador said, the Associated Press reported. China has not responded to the proposal, but “my understanding is that they have agreed to engage substantively,” Ambassador Mark Lyall reportedly said.

Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been causing a stir in the world community for quite some time now. Tehran’s resistance to international demands to halt its controversial activities has raised concerns as to whether or not the program is peaceful.