In late September, foreign ministers of the Iran Six - Britain, France, Germany, China, the United States and Russia - set a November 30 deadline for Iran to halt its nuclear program, which many countries see as a cover for an atomic weapons program.
A British Foreign Office spokesman said nothing dramatic should be expected from the Friday meeting, and that discussions on this level would continue for several weeks. No negotiations between foreign ministers are expected yet, he said.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already called for new sanctions against Tehran if it fails to comply, a position shared by France, the U.S., and Germany. Washington unilaterally imposed further sanctions against Iran last Thursday, which will affect a number of Iranian banks and two elite military units.
Russia, which is building a nuclear power plant in Iran under a $1-billion contract, has resisted any tough sanctions against the Islamic Republic, and flatly ruled out military action, insisting on diplomacy. Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a visit to Tehran last month that there was no evidence Iran was developing nuclear weapons.
At the meeting in London, Russia will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak, Britain by Mark Lyall Grant, director general of the political directorate in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, France by Political Director Gerard Araud, and the U.S. by Nicholas Burns, under secretary for political affairs.