"We cannot be a party to any ultimatums, because they will only lead to a deadlock or a new crisis in a seriously destabilized region, and would damage the UN Security Council's reputation," Sergei Lavrov told the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles Monday (Tuesday Moscow time).
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.
Some countries propose drafting sanctions against Iran in the event talks fail. But Lavrov said steps should be taken to start talks, and not introduce measures that will only obstruct progress.