September 24, 2012 - 13:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - UK, France and Germany have called for new European Union sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, AFP reported Sunday, Sept 23, citing European diplomats.
The foreign ministers of the three countries wrote to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last week calling for tougher measures as the showdown with Tehran becomes more tense, according to a European diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity.
The EU is working on more sanctions as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeks to counter the pressure on his country at this week's UN General Assembly in New York.
Ahmadinejad met UN leader Ban Ki-moon, also on Sunday, as the EU foreign policy chief held talks on Iran and other topics with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York.
Details of the new EU measures are still being worked on but foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc will discuss the move at a meeting in Brussels on October 15.
The U.S. and its European allies say Iran is working toward a nuclear bomb but Iran says its research is for peaceful energy purposes.
"We think there is still time for a political solution, a diplomatic solution, and this is what we are working for. But we cannot accept nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran," said the official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Ashton is to chair a meeting in New York on Thursday of the six nations - the EU three, plus the U.S., Russia and China - who have been seeking to negotiate a solution with Iran.