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Iran's Negotiator In Moscow For Uranium Enrichment Talks --> U.S. President Bush told the Iranian people yesterday that he doesn't think their country "should have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon" (file photo) (CTK) 24 January 2006 -- Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, is expected in Moscow today for talks with Russian officials on Iran's controversial atomic program.

The Russian and Iranian sides are expected to discuss a proposal for Iranian uranium enrichment work to be carried out in Russia. Such a program is seen as possibly offering a way to ease Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday that unless Tehran takes action to ease concerns, the next logical step would be for Iran to be referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible punitive sanctions.

Bush vowed the United States will defend its ally Israel and said the world should not be put in a position to be blackmailed by a nuclear weapon.

"I also want the Iranian people to hear [something] loud and clear and that is, we have no beef with you. We are worried about a government that is transparent, whose aims and objectives are not peaceful, and therefore we don't think that you should have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon."

The United States and its allies in the European Union have said they will seek to refer Iran to the Security Council at a meeting next week -- on 2 February -- of the governing board of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran denies that it is secretly trying to make a nuclear weapon.

(compiled from agency reports)

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