The Straits Times
Published on Dec 18, 2012

Iran says it, world powers must end nuclear stalemate


DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister said on Monday a way must be found to end the deadlock with major powers over the country's nuclear programme, an Iranian news agency reported, but he offered no new initiative on how to achieve this.

Mr Ali Akbar Salehi's comments came ahead of an expected resumption of diplomacy, perhaps next month, aimed at preventing the decade-old nuclear dispute from degenerating into a Middle East war that could damage an already fragile world economy.

Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power, has threatened military action to prevent its arch-enemy from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such goal and says it would hit back hard if attacked.

"The two sides (Iran and world powers) have reached a conclusion that they must exit the current stalemate," Mr Salehi was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students' News Agency.