The United States has expressed support for a European call to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program.
The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain met Thursday, saying the referral was needed because European efforts to negotiate with Iran have failed. In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran of taking "provocative" actions this week, with its decision to renew nuclear fuel research. She added the United States is still hoping for a diplomatic solution to the dispute.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he spoke with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, who said Iran is interested in "serious and constructive negotiations" with Europe. U.S. and European officials accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons -- a charge Iran denies.