Six-nation group ministers to meet on Iran: France

Six-nation group ministers to meet on Iran: France Paris: Foreign ministers from the world powers of the six-strong contact group on the Iranian nuclear crisis will meet next week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, France said today.

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States are seeking to engage with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, and between them hold the key as to whether Tehran will face new economic sanctions.

"The foreign ministers of the E3+3 will meet on this subject in New York next week," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said today, using the European abbreviation for the Iran contact group.

In addition to the ministers' talks, he confirmed France would take part in an October 1 meeting of officials from the six, Iranian nuclear negotiator Said Jalili and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Valero said France would have preferred these talks to have taken place before the UN General Assembly next week, but was glad that they would be organised as quickly as possible afterwards.

France has been pushing for a tough line on Iran's nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is simply an attempt to generate electricity but which Western powers suspect conceals a plan to develop an atomic bomb.

Bureau Report