Senior Iranian and EU nuclear negotiators to meet in Rome next week

October 17, 2007 19:30

Senior Iranian and EU negotiators will meet in Rome next week over Teheran's disputed nuclear program, an EU official said. The official, who asked for anonymity in exchange for disclosing the venue, said the meeting on Tuesday between Javier Solana of the European Union and Ali Larijani of Iran would focus on Teheran's refusal to heed UN Security Council demands for a freeze on uranium enrichment, which can make both nuclear fuel and the material for warheads. Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, and International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei planned to present reports in mid-November to the UN Security Council in New York as to whether Teheran has cooperated in answering questions about its disputed nuclear program. The EU, US and others say Iranian arguments that it is developing enrichment for peaceful purposes are a cover to reach a capacity to make nuclear weapons. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, with EU support, agreed earlier this month to delay until November any new UN resolution to toughen sanctions against Iran, giving it more time to cooperate with an IAEA investigation of past nuclear activities.

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