World Powers Meet in Berlin to Show Unity on Iran | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 30.03.2006
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World Powers Meet in Berlin to Show Unity on Iran

Angela Merkel will host an emergency meeting of UN Security Council members in Berlin on Thursday to break the deadlock on a draft resolution regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions. Unity is the order of the day.

Condi Rice will be among those joining Merkel in Berlin

Condi Rice will be among those joining Merkel in Berlin

For the past two and a half weeks, the UN Security Council members have been at loggerheads over Iran.

Great Britain, France and the U.S. disagree with Russia and China on how to tackle the volatile Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions. With the need to take a unified stance on the issue pressing, the foreign ministers of the five world powers will meet with Merkel and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on how best to proceed.

The goal is to come out of the meeting with a unified stance and, hopefully, a draft resolution on Iran that can go before the UN Security Council.

A new, weaker resolution?

The latter will be more difficult to present. With China and Russia so far against hanging economic sanctions on Iran, Great Britain, France and the U.S. are scrambling to find areas on which to compromise.

Reports out of the UN in New York suggest that a new resolution is making the rounds that still forbids Iran to enrich a uranium - part of the process of making an atomic bomb - but takes out language that would slap it with sanctions.

UN Generalversammlung Abstimmung UN-Menschenrechtsrat

Are sanctions still on the table in the UN?

Another proposal, by the International Crisis Group in Belgium, would allow uranium enrichment, but force UN inspections as well. The proposal is favored by a deputy of German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who said the participants Thursday would likely consider the idea.

Not at the finish line

But a solid solution remains far off.

"We haven't reached finish line yet," Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the Bundestag during a general debate on Wednesday.

Iran has remained resolute in the face of international diplomatic pressure. After more than two years of negotiations with Britain, France and Germany, it resumed uranium enrichment earlier this year. The EU-3 broke off diplomatic negotiations soon after and U.S. representatives began looking for a way to refer the issue to the security council, where sanctions were possible.

No military option, no talk of sanctions

Those plans appear abandoned given the stalemate at the moment - and any sort of military option against the Islamic state seems far more unlikely.

Iran Atomanlage in Isfahan Uran

Uranium enrichment has been taken up again at Isfahan

"Contrary to what has been said, there is no military option on the table. There is no discussion of sanctions," Friedrich Groenig, the head of arms control and disarmament at the German Foreign Minister told Reuters.

Merkel is hoping for a resolution tomorrow, and says Germany's willingness to host the meeting is a sign of the country's commitment to being a diplomatic player on the world stage. Germany, she said, wants to contribute to the clear signal towards Iran or "what works in international politics and what doesn't."

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