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11/20/09

World Powers to Meet on Iran Nuclear Deal

By VOA News

Representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: Britain, France, China, the United States, Russia plus Germany, will meet in Brussels Friday to discuss Iran's latest stand on its nuclear program.

Representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: Britain, France, China, the United States, Russia plus Germany, will meet in Brussels Friday to discuss Iran's latest stand on its nuclear program. 

The talks come just two days after Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki said his country will not send its uranium abroad for further enrichment and will only consider a uranium-for-fuel swap inside Iran.

A U.N.-brokered proposal had called for sending Iran's uranium abroad for further enrichment.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters in Berlin Friday he still hopes Iran will accept the deal  He says the "ball is very much in the Iranian court" .

U.S. President Barack Obama says his administration has begun talks with its international partners on the consequences of Iran's failure to respond to the proposed agreement. 

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his government may consider better relations with the West, but only if it changed its "arrogant" attitude and returned some of its nation's assets. 

Iran has not suspended its uranium enrichment activities, despite three rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Thursday it is too early to discuss new sanctions, saying Iran still has not given its official answer to a the U.N.-backed proposal.

Meanwhile, diplomats say IAEA inspectors paid a second visit to Iran's recently revealed uranium enrichment facility on Thursday. 

The IAEA had earlier said Iran needed to provide further information about its nuclear plant near the city of Qom.  U.N. inspectors first visited it last month after Iran revealed the site's existence in September. 

Enriched uranium produces fuel that can be used for civilian purposes, or, in highly enriched form, for nuclear weapons.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes

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