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. France to propose European sanctions against Iran at EU meet
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 28 (AFP) Sep 28, 2007
France will propose to discuss sanctions against Iran outside the UN framework at a meeting with its European Union partners next month, its foreign minister said here Friday.

"We have an appointment on October 15 with the European union," Bernard Kouchner said on the margins of the UN General Assembly session. "We will talk about sanctions. Already we are sending a letter to our counterparts."

"This morning it was of course a step," Kouchner said, referring to a talks earlier Friday on the sanctions issue with his US, British and German counterparts as well as European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

At France's prodding, the EU is mulling whether to adopt such unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Britain backs such measures and the Netherlands said it would be ready to support them if the Security Council cannot agree on its own punitive measures. But other EU countries are not all on board.

After discussing prospects for a third round of UN sanctions with their Russian and Chinese counterparts, the US and European ministers met separately to weigh additional non-UN sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

US Under Secretary of State for political affairs Nicholas Burns described Friday's talks as "very good" but did not report any breakthrough.

The six major world powers working to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions said after their meeting Friday they would wait for two key reports in November before deciding on whether to push for a third round of UN sanctions on Tehran.

The six powers and the EU agreed to wait until November pending the reports by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei and Solana before deciding whether to submit a new UN sanctions resolution.

Iran rejects Western charges that it is trying to build atomic weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear program and insists it is entitled to pursue uranium enrichment as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The UN Security Council has passed two rounds of sanctions to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, which can be used to supply the fuel for power generation or nuclear arms.

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