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Big powers say Iran sanctions talks "constructive".

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2010 (TAP) - Big power envoys said they held constructive talks on Wednesday over new U.N. sanctions to try to halt Iran's nuclear programme, but diplomats forecast weeks of haggling over a text the Security Council can pass.

"We got into the substance. We are moving forward and we'll have, of course, other meetings," French Ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters after the three-hour meeting.

"We started to negotiate on the basis of the text. I think the six countries are on board," he added, without elaborating or saying when the next meeting would take place.

Ambassadors from the five permanent Security Council members and Germany met at the U.S. mission to the United Nations for their second meeting in a week since China, which has close economic ties with Iran, agreed to join the talks.

The ambassadors of China and Russia, seen as the countries least keen on sanctions, were less upbeat than Araud but called the talks constructive. "We have had a better understanding of each other's positions," said China's Li Baodong.

The envoys were discussing a U.S. draft resolution, first circulated weeks ago, that provides for a fourth round of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to stop uranium enrichment. The West accuses Iran of seeking to produce atomic arms but Tehran says it aims only to generate electricity.

The draft proposes new curbs on Iranian banking, a full arms embargo, tougher measures against Iranian shipping and a ban on new investments in Iran's energy sector.

Tap 2009

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Publication:Agency Tunis Afrique Press
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Apr 15, 2010
Words:263
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