Iran: Discussions with EU to resume within 2 weeks

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November 30, 2005 22:31
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Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that talks with the European Union over Iran's nuclear program would resume within the next two weeks. Manouchehr Mottaki said the venue for the discussions had not yet been decided, but senior Iranian and EU officials would meet to "determine the agenda" followed by a ministerial meeting. "Negotiations between EU and Iran will begin within two weeks," he said during a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Responding to a question about the permission given to the US ambassador to Iraq to meet with Iranian officials, Mottaki said they were "rumors." "Negotiating with the United States is not on our agenda," he said, speaking through a Turkish interpreter. While Iran has frozen its nascent enrichment program, it restarted uranium conversion - a step toward enrichment - in August. France, Germany and Britain, negotiating for the European Union, subsequently broke off talks with Teheran that had intended to ease tension over its nuclear activities. Earlier this month, diplomats in Vienna said that senior French, British and German officials would make a last-ditch effort to convince Teheran to accept a compromise on its nuclear program. The United States says Iran's nuclear activities are aimed at producing atomic weapons and wants the country hauled before the UN Security Council for violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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