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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

EU to admit Iran nuclear talks have failed

The European Union will acknowledge Tuesday that nuclear talks with Iran have failed and support a return to the UN Security Council to prepare sanctions, according to a draft document seen by AFP.

Draft conclusions from Tuesday's meeting of European foreign ministers said that the Union now believes that "Iran's continuation of enrichment-related activities has left the EU no choice" but to return to the United Nations.

The ministers express "deep concern" that Iran has not yet suspended its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities as required by the International Atomic Energy Agency -- the UN nuclear watchdog -- and a UN resolution.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has led EU talks aimed at encouraging Iran to accept political and economic incentives in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment and will brief the ministers at their meeting in Luxembourg.

An EU diplomat said that there would be no discussion on what form any UN sanctions might take.

Major world powers have been debating sanctions to slap on Iran for ignoring an August 31 UN deadline to suspend uranium enrichment, which Washington and others fear could be subverted to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

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