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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Iran, EU Fail to Reach a Deal in Berlin

Berlin (AP): Iran and the European Union failed to reach a deal in their latest round of nuclear talks but came to "some positive conclusions," Tehran's chief negotiator said Thursday. Neither Ali Larijani nor EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana gave any details of what had been achieved, but both spoke positively of the discussions over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

Solana and Larijani are holding the latest round of talks over a package of incentives that six countries - the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany - are offering Tehran in return for suspending its uranium enrichment program and returning to full-scale negotiations.

Iran missed an Aug. 31 Security Council deadline over the issue. The six are considering seeking sanctions in the U.N. Security Council if Tehran does not comply.

"We have had long, constructive negotiations" Larijani said. "We have been able to come to some positive conclusions."

Soland said, "We have been progressing."

"But still, we have some issues, that have been put but have not been closed," Solana said, adding that the two sides "will keep in touch."

Solana said he hoped to have further telephone contact with the Iranian side later this week, but he gave no specifics. Larijani indicated they had discussed how future negotiations could proceed and expressed hope they could "embark on the main negotiations as soon as possible."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Solana on Wednesday and renewed U.S. support for his talks with Iran, she told reporters in Washington, D.C.

Rice said if Larijani agreed to a suspension of processing uranium "we would be on a course for negotiations."

But, Rice told reporters, she had told Solana "clearly this won't go on very much longer."

Solana is to report back to the six countries trying to persuade Iran to give up its program to enrich uranium.

Germany has joined with the permanent U.N. Security Council members in pressing Iran to give up what the U.S. says is a nuclear weapons program. Iran says its program is peaceful.

Enriched uranium can be used for power plants or for weapons, depending on the level of enrichment.
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