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16 Jan, 2010 22:59

No decision on sanctions against Iran as of yet – Russian diplomat

No decision has been reached about enacting tougher sanctions against Iran at the six-party talks in New York, according to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

"We will look at which measures can be developed in order to stimulate political and diplomatic solutions to the problem at hand," Ryabkov told journalists in New York after the six party meeting on Saturday.

"This does not mean that we have made a decision in regard to [creating more] sanctions, this is the fulfillment of the mandate given by ministers to complete a collective evaluation of the situation to decide what can be done further," the deputy foreign minister added.

Further, Ryabkov said “The desire of the Western participants in the 'Six' to begin the process of the development of a new sanction resolution is obvious to all……I think that we have approached such a threshold when the Western participants in the 'Six' after today's meeting will begin to take specific steps in this direction."

Meanwhile, EU senior security adviser Robert Cooper, who chaired the meeting, said that along with diplomatic and political means, the six nations will consider other measures. "We will continue to seek a negotiated solution, but consideration of appropriate further measures has also begun," he said. Cooper declined to give further details about the future measures.

The US was pushing for new sanctions on Iran during the meeting, which took place at the European Union headquarters in New York on Saturday, the AP news agency reported. The group includes the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.

Earlier, Tehran rejected proposals made by the International Atomic Energy Agency to ship its uranium stockpile to Russia and France for it to be enriched to fuel-grade level and then sent back to Iran.

In January, Iran said it would swap its uranium for enriched uranium in smaller portions and not at once, as the previous plan required.

Tehran denies accusations that its nuclear programme is aimed at creating nuclear weapons and says it only pursues peaceful use of nuclear power.