Iran has been at the center of an international dispute this year over its controversial nuclear programs. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's watchdog, have been at the center of efforts to resolve the problem.
"The sides have demonstrated joint commitment to a political and diplomatic resolution of the situation around the Iranian nuclear problem and the creation of conditions for long-term stability in other trouble spots in the world," Vladimir Putin said after a meeting with his French and German counterparts, Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel.
Chirac advocated the continuation of dialogue and Merkel said the international community should join efforts to influence Iran in order to achieve a political resolution to the problem.
The five permanent UN Security Council members - Russia, the United Kingdom, China, France and the United States - and Germany drafted a package of incentives to persuade Iran to suspend work on enriching uranium, which could be used in both electricity generation and weapons production. Tehran's response to these incentives was handed to the Iran-6 group August 22. According to media reports, Iran claims it will consider suspending its uranium enrichment program only after talks.
Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, and the European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, are expected to hold talks on Iran's controversial nuclear program next week.
The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1696 July 31, demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment by August 31 or face possible economic and diplomatic sanctions. However, a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, said Tehran had refused to suspend the program and had blocked its inspectors from nuclear facilities.
Russia, which signed the UN resolution, opposes the imposition of sanctions advocated by the United States. Washington is pushing for setting a deadline for sanctions, regardless of skepticism from Russia, China and even its western European allies.