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EU and Teheran Close to Deal on Uranium
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Although Iran wishes to keep details of an agreement reached which would include the temporary suspension of uranium enrichment quiet the way is now apparently clear for nuclear talks with Teheran, the Washington Times reported Tuesday.

The deal could be completed late Tuesday or today when EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani are set to meet in Europe, the newspaper said. The report cited Bush administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report said Iran had agreed to suspend uranium enrichment for 90 days to allow for additional talks to be held with Europe. However, an Iranian nuclear official was quoted by a local news agency denying such suspension plans.

In Brussels a spokeswoman for Solana said he had no plans to meet Larijani Tuesday and would be in Brussels all day.

The spokeswoman, Cristina Gallach, declined to comment on the newspaper report but said senior EU official Robert Cooper and Iranian official Javad Vaeedi had talked in Paris on Monday.

"We're working on the meeting with Larijani but I will not say when nor where until it really happens," she said. "We continue to engage with the Iranians in order to create the conditions for these negotiations."

Foreign ministers of the major powers agreed last week in New York to give Solana a few more weeks to try to clinch a deal on launching formal negotiations setting an unannounced deadline of early October, diplomats said.

The deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Saeedi, denied any agreement to suspend enrichment for 90 days when questioned about the Washington Times report.

"These are not the issues to be discussed in the future negotiations and as Mr Larijani has said before the P5+1 proposal will be the basis of the future negotiations with the representatives of the P5+1," Saeedi said.

(China Daily September 27, 2006)


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