Lavrov Suggests Guarantees for Iran

APSergei Lavrov meeting with Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Yekaterinburg.
YEKATERINBURG -- The six powers negotiating with Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment program could offer Tehran security guarantees, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Wednesday.

"I think the six could make the following steps: directly put concrete offers on the negotiating table, give Iran security guarantees and ensure a more distinguished place in negotiations on the situation in the Middle East," Lavrov said.

Lavrov did not specify what security guarantees might be offered but said a combination of negotiations and incentives could help solve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program and wider Middle East problems.

"I am convinced that this is an effective way of relieving tensions in the region and regulating the situation surrounding Iran's nuclear problem," Lavrov said.

The six nations negotiating with Iran to suspend its nuclear program are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France -- and Germany. Lavrov met German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday.

Iran said Tuesday that it would put forward new proposals in its dispute with the West over its nuclear program but ruled out suspending uranium-enrichment activity, which Western powers suspect is aimed at making bombs. Lavrov said he had not yet received details of the Iranian proposals.