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Iran Rules Out Key Demand Before Nuclear Talks

May 30, 2007, RFE/RL -- Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said in Tehran today his country will not suspend uranium enrichment. The refusal comes one day ahead of talks between EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana and Larijani in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

Ali Larijani

Previous meetings have failed to persuade Tehran to obey UN resolutions demanding to halt enrichment.

The West accuses Iran of seeking to build atomic bombs. But Iran insists its program is aimed at generating electricity.

At the Madrid meeting, Solana is empowered by the world's major powers -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany, as well as the EU -- to explore the scope for formal negotiations on a package of economic, technological, and political initiatives if Iran suspends enrichment.

The UN Security Council has imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran since December for its failure to heed U.N. demands. The United States, which has led efforts to isolate Iran, has threatened further steps.

(Reuters, AFP)

Copyright (c) 2007 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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