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11/12/06

Russia, Iran to Press for New Six-Party Talks

By VOA News, VOA

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says his government will work with Iran to restart six-party talks on Iran's nuclear program.

Mr. Lavrov says Russian officials plan in the coming days to contact other nations to discuss ways of renewing the stalled talks.

He made the comments Saturday after President Vladimir Putin met Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, in Moscow.

In June, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany offered Iran a set of incentives if Iran agrees to stop uranium enrichment. Tehran has resisted calls to suspend enrichment activities, saying it has a right to develop nuclear energy.

At the U.N. Security Council, European nations have proposed sanctions against Iran to press the Tehran government to stop enrichment.

On Friday, Iran's Larijani warned that possible sanctions would not promote a political solution to the dispute.

The United States and its European allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its activities are for peaceful purposes.

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

Iran To Expand Uranium-Enrichment Program

November 12, 2006, RFE/RL -- Iran says it is pressing ahead with plans to expand its program to enrich uranium, despite international calls to freeze its controversial nuclear work.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Husseini today said Tehran remains determined to install 3,000 centrifuges by March 2007.

Iran recently launched a second cascade of 164 centrifuges to enrich uranium.

Husseini also warned that Iran would have a "destructive" response to any Israeli military attacks.

Meanwhile, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh told Israeli radio that using force against Iran over its nuclear program should be the last option.

The comments came as the UN Security Council continues to debate ways to censure Iran for refusing to suspend sensitive nuclear fuel work. Veto-holding Security Council members Russia and China have been reluctant to back sanctions.

The West accuses Iran of using a civilian nuclear program to hide efforts at developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear effort is legal and peaceful.

(AFP, Reuters)

... Payvand News - 11/12/06 ... --



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