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Iran tops Straw's talks with Rice, say UK dailies

London, Jan 24, IRNA -- British dailies were virtually unanimous Monday in suggesting that Iran would top Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's first talks with incoming US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in Washington.

Straw would seek to "narrow differences" between Europe and the US over Iran's nuclear program and urge Washington to take "a positive approach" to talks with the Islamic republic, according to the Financial Times.

The Glasgow Herald said the foreign secretary's aim was to "to steer America away from considering military action against Iran." The 200-page dossier released by Straw on Iran's nuclear program last week makes the case for a "negotiated solution," it said.

The Daily Record went as far as saying that Rice would be told that Britain would "not back an American invasion of Iran."

A peaceful approach was in the "best interests of Iran and the international community," it reported Straw would be telling the upcoming US secretary of state.

The British foreign secretary's talks with his upcoming American counterpart in Washington Monday are being followed on Tuesday by Germany's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who along with their French counterpart, have been leading EU negotiations with Iran.

It is also understood that officials from the three European countries negotiating with Iran are due to meet Stephen Hadley, designated the next US National Security adviser.

But British dailies also quoted Foreign Office officials as playing down the difference between the US and the EU on Iran's nuclear program.

According to the Guardian, officials said that Straw's list of topics for discussion with Rice was topped by developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The paper also reported that he wanted to discuss the Iraq elections and the EU plan to lift its arms embargo on China, which the US opposes.

Fischer to focus on greater US role in Iran talks with Rice

Berlin, Jan 24, IRNA -- German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called for a greater American role in the nuclear negotiations between the European Union and Iran ahead of Tuesday's talks with the incoming US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice in Washington.

"The stronger the US engages politically and diplomatically, the greater are our prospects of success," Fischer was quoted as saying Monday in Der Spiegel magazine.

"There exists a real chance to resolve the conflict through way of negotiations," the minister added.

German leaders have repeatedly expressed concern over the latest military threats by US President George W. Bush who has refused to rule out the military option in Iran.

... Payvand News - 1/24/05 ... --

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