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EU: Iran Agrees to Talks on Nuclear Program

Source: VOA

The European Union says Iran has agreed to discuss its nuclear program at a meeting next week in Geneva.

The reactor building of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant located outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran
Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes

The EU said Tuesday that Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, will meet with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Aston on December 6 and 7. Ashton's office says she will act on behalf of the United States. Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday his country is ready to hold talks but will not make concessions about its right to a nuclear program.

Western nations accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear technology to make weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

The U.S. State Department said Monday that Washington had offered Iran a date and locations for a meeting with major powers about its nuclear program, but was still awaiting a response.

Also Monday, Iranian authorities blamed Israeli and U.S. agents for bomb attacks in Tehran that killed one prominent nuclear scientist and wounded another.

Asked about Iran's accusation, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel does not comment on such matters. In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. decries "acts of terrorism, wherever they occur."

The head of Iran's nuclear energy program Ali Akbar Salehi said the Iranian scientist killed in Monday's attack, Majid Shahriar, was "in charge of one of the biggest projects" of Iran's nuclear program.

The wounded scientist, nuclear physicist Fereidoun Abbasi, has been subject to U.N. sanctions since 2007 because of his alleged involvement in nuclear weapons research. He is considered a major player in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also acknowledged that some of Iran's uranium enrichment centrifuges were damaged recently in a cyber attack that used the Stuxnet computer virus to tamper with electronic equipment.

Earlier this month, Iranian officials said the country's nuclear program was not affected by the malicious software. But the U.N. nuclear agency reported that Tehran was forced to temporarily halt enrichment.

... Payvand News - 11/30/10 ... --

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