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Six powers to discuss Iran nuclear issue
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The Bush administration will send its envoy to Paris for meeting with other five major countries over Iran's nuclear issue, said U.S. State Department on Wednesday.

U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns will meet Thursday with his counterparts from Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in Paris, State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

"It's a meeting to try to touch base with our counterparts and see how we move forward. We are still very concerned about what Iran is doing," said the spokesman, adding that the six powers would discuss "next steps with the dual-track strategy."

Earlier on Wednesday, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the United States and other parties in talks on Iran's nuclear program "are committed to a diplomatic path" if Tehran freezes uranium enrichment activities and refrains from further missile tests.

Iranian state television reported a new generation surface-to- surface missile was successfully test-fired in the country on Wednesday, adding that the missile had a range of about 2,000 kilometers similar to that of Shahab-3, which is believed to have capability to attack Israel.

"Iran's development of ballistic missiles is contrary to United Nations Security Council resolutions and completely inconsistent with Iran's obligations to the world," Johndroe said in a statement.

Accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons, the United States and its European allies have been pushing the United Nations to impose the fourth sanctions against Iran, although they offered a package of economic and technological incentives if Iran suspends uranium enrichment.

Iran insists that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed international sanctions threat, saying "Sanctions are not important," and "The era of such threats has ended."

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