Mottaki hosts Security Council members including U.S. rep

May 8, 2010 - 0:0

The Iranian foreign minister hosted a dinner on Thursday for representatives of UN Security Council members, including the United States, for talks on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Representatives of all 15 Security Council members attended the event hosted by Manouchehr Mottaki in New York.
Western diplomats called the event a rare move for a visiting dignitary such as the Iranian foreign minister to host a dinner for all the council’s 15 member nations.
Diplomats in most cases said before the two-hour dinner that they would be sending a senior official, not the top-ranking ambassador. However, many nations did send their top-ranking ambassadors, some notable exceptions being the U.S., Britain, France and Russia.
Washington was represented by Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff.
Japan’s UN ambassador, Yukio Takasu, said after the dinner that Mottaki insisted Iran “has the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”
“There was no talk about sanctions. What is important is that most Security Council members are here,” Takasu told reporters through an interpreter.
“We had a very frank exchange of ideas,” he said.
The occasion served as one of the highest-ranking contacts in recent years between the U.S. and Iran, which lack formal relations.
A spokesman for Iran’s UN mission, M. Bak Sahraei, told the Associated Press the dinner was being called “on the sidelines of (the) NPT review conference in New York.”
A month-long conference reviewing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is under way at the United Nations.
The meeting came as the five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- and Germany have been negotiating for weeks on a draft resolution that would impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program.
As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the right to develop civil nuclear power.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told ABC News on Wednesday that Iran would “definitely continue” its nuclear program.
He also brushed aside the current U.S. push for a fresh round of sanctions.