UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thursday for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with Tehran in an apparent reaction to media speculation that Israel might attack Iran's atomic facilities.
"He (Ban) reiterates his call for Iran's compliance with all relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.
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"The secretary-general reiterates his belief that a negotiated rather than a military solution is the only way to resolve this issue," he said.
He added that Ban's position is that "the onus is on Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear program."
Tension over Iran's nuclear program has increased since earlier this week when the IAEA reported that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a bomb and may still be conducting secret research to that end.
Since 2006, the UN Security Council has adopted six resolutions demanding that Iran halt its nuclear enrichment program, four of them imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
No new sanctions
Also on Thursday, Russia and China, both permanent UN Security Council members with veto power, agreed that Iran should not be subjected to new sanctions over its nuclear program, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
At a meeting in Moscow, Russian and Chinese diplomats expressed "the mutual conviction that the application of new, additional sanctions against Iran will not lead to the desired result," the ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the European Union was mulling fresh sanctions against Tehran within weeks.
Diplomats in Brussels said preliminary discussions among EU capitals on new measures had begun and plans may be ready for EU foreign ministers in Brussels to approve on Dec. 1.
"Experts are discussing a number of options on the table but it is difficult to foresee the outcome of the debate," one EU diplomat said. Another said he expected a formal decision to be reached on Dec. 1.
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