Iran's U.N. envoy says a new Western-backed resolution demanding that Tehran halt uranium enrichment is aimed at provoking a crisis.
Ambassador Javad Zarif said Thursday that Iran wants a negotiated solution to the standoff over its suspect nuclear program.
Zarif spoke as the five permanent U.N. Security Council members (the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China) held a first round of talks on the draft introduced by Britain and France on Wednesday.
The resolution, which is strongly backed by the United States, does not threaten economic sanctions. But it does invoke Chapter Seven of the U.N. charter, which can be used to authorize sanctions and military force as a last resort.
Diplomats from the five permanent Council members are expected to resume talks on Friday on the draft.
Two of the permanent members, China and Russia, have threatened to veto any resolution calling for sanctions or military threats against Iran. But Russia's U.N. envoy hinted Wednesday that Moscow may support the measure.
Diplomats say the deadline in the draft resolution for Iran to comply is likely to be 30 days, or early June.
In Washington Thursday, President Bush accused Iran of defying the world with its ambitions for nuclear weapons. He said the U.S., its European allies, Russia and China have a goal to deny Iran from acquiring an atomic weapon.
Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.