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Spokesman: Iran Got Letter from US
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Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday that Teheran has received a letter from the United States which sought to resolve a dispute between the two countries.

"There has been a message from American officials," the spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseni, told reporters at a press conference in Teheran.

Hosseini did not provide any information on the content of the note, or identify the US officials who sent it, saying only that Teheran was "studying" the note.

"In the message, (they) want to ease the current case, which was unfortunately complicated because of policies of the United States and some other countries' officials," Hosseini said.

Hosseini's wording indicated the case was that of the arrests earlier this month of five Iranians in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, at an Iranian mission there.

Iranian media this week reported that five US senators, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, a Democrat, have sent a letter to Teheran. Neither Teheran nor Washington confirmed such a note.

Biden last week sent a letter to US President George W. Bush, asking him to explain whether the US administration believes it could attack Iran or Syria without the approval of Congress.

An Iranian nuclear official Sunday denied a statement by a Teheran parliamentarian on Saturday that the country had begun installing 3,000 new atomic centrifuges for uranium enrichment a process that can make atomic bombs.

Hossein Simorgh, the head of public affairs at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted by IRNA news agency as saying no such new devices had been fitted at its Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, had earlier been quoted as saying Iran had started installing the centrifuges, used to make fuel for power stations or material for atomic bombs.

(China Daily via agencies January 29, 2007)

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