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(photo credit: AP)
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Friday his country was ready to compromise on its contentious atomic program, but offered no specifics as he entered a meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Expectations were low from the talks between Iran's Ali Larijani and the IAEA's Mohamed ElBaradei. On Saturday, Larijani is due to meet with Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief.
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Diplomats familiar with the issue suggested Iran may be looking for no more than a platform to show it was serious about negotiating differences over its nuclear activities, even while refusing to give on the key international demand, a stop to uranium enrichment.
"We are unaware that he is bringing anything new to the table," said one of the diplomats, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue with the media.
Larijani was low key going into the Vienna meeting, telling reporters, "Our logic is the logic of talking and compromising."
Still, looking ahead to Saturday's talks between Larijani and Solana, a western official said there were no indications that Iran was ready to budge on enrichment, despite two sets of UN Security Council sanctions, and the possibility of a third, for its refusal to freeze the activity.
Instead, that meeting, in Lisbon, Portugal, would likely skirt the issue and focus on Tehran's professed willingness to end its stonewalling of the IAEA on past suspicious activities.