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. Iran meeting at UN postponed
UNITED NATIONS, July 27 (AFP) Jul 27, 2006
Six major powers on Thursday postponed a meeting on Iran's nuclear programme, with diplomats linking it to the UN Security Council's failure to pass a statement on the deaths of four UN peacekeepers this week.

No official reason was given for the postponement of the meeting by the five UN Security Council permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and United States -- and Germany to discuss a resolution against Iran.

But the postponement came one day after the Security Council failed to agree a statement on the killing of four UN peacekeepers during an Israeli attack in Lebanon.

Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin announced that the meeting had been postponed and that no new date had been set.

Another diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "You can draw your own conclusions after what happened last night."

Diplomats said earlier this week that progress was being made in agreeing a resolution that would state that Iran must suspend all enrichment-related activities that could be linked to making a nuclear weapon.

But there has been a dramatic change of atmosphere after the failure to condemn the deaths of Austrian, Canadian, Chinese and Finnish soldiers in Lebanon on Tuesday.

The United States blocked attempts to pass a strong statement condemning the attack or Israel. And China's envoy Wang Guangya warned Wednesday there could be an impact on efforts to agree other key issues such as Iran's nuclear programme.

"I hope not, but I think that somehow it will have an impact, because if we want the unity of the council on this issue we also want the unity of the council on other issues," he said.

Questioned specifically about the Iran dispute, where China and Russia have resisted US calls for sanctions, the Chinese ambassador said: "I think all members will reflect on what lessons there are to be learned from this episode."

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