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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Nuclear: Iran-Russia talks resume

Rome, 28 Feb. (AKI) - Talks between Iran and Russia over a Russian plan to enrich uranium on Tehran's behalf on its soil resume on Tuesday in Moscow. On Sunday, Iran announced it had reached a "basic accord" with Russia, though "the details still need to be outlined." Russian foreign minister Serghei Lavrov stressed late on Monday that "the suspension of all forms of uranium enrichment, even for experimental purposes" was key in order for an agreement to be reached with Tehran. The two countries have time until a 6 March meeting of the board of governors of the UN nuclear watchdog to reach an accord.

Ali Hosseini Tash, the Iranian diplomat heading the delegation in Russia, told a press conference in Isfahan late on Monday that his country's nuclear programme was "connected to the country's security."

Speaking to reporters before leaving for Moscow, the top negotiator also said that "any negotiation on our nuclear plans must take into consideration the fact that Iran is at the centre of an American project to change the current international order and that this project, its authors claim, must start in the Middle East."

The diplomat also said he believed, despite the progress made in recent days, "everything is ready to refer the nuclear dossier of the Islamic Republic to the UN Security Council."

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