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3/2/06

Iran to Attend Last-Minute Nuclear Talks With European Union

By VOA News

Iran's top nuclear negotiator and European foreign ministers will meet in Vienna Friday, making one more effort to break the impasse over Tehran's nuclear program.

The surprise meeting in Vienna was convened on short notice at Iran's request, ahead of a crucial session of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The I.A.E.A. will decide on Monday whether to ask the United Nations Security Council to take action against Iran.

Foreign ministers from Britain, France and Germany will attend the talks in Vienna on Friday. European officials say they have no new proposals to make, but expect Iran to offer its ideas on how to break the nuclear impasse.

Tehran's chief negotiator Ali Larijani, in Moscow Thursday, has not indicated whether Iran will yield to demands for an end to its uranium enrichment work. Tehran says its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes, but Western nations contend Iran could be concealing a plot to build nuclear weapons in secret.

Moscow is offering to allow Iran to process its nuclear fuel in Russian facilities, to ensure that no forbidden weapons-grade uranium is produced. Authorities in the Russian capital say there was no breakthrough in this week's talks, and the meetings have been adjourned for the time being.

Iran's Larijani blamed the United States for the lack of progress in the Moscow talks, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visiting Malaysia Thursday, charged that rich Western countries are draining wealth from developing nations by trying to control all global energy resources.

Malaysia's foreign minister Hamid Albar, says the world should accept assurances that Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. He adds that the international community cannot afford to let the issue develop into a new theater of conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters

... Payvand News - 3/2/06 ... --



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