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Discussions Ongoing For Iran-EU Nuclear Talks


Manuchehr Mottaki in Tehran on September 5 (epa) September 6, 2006 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki says discussions are continuing to fix a date and place for talks with the European Union over Tehran's nuclear program.

He also said constructive talks are needed to solve outstanding issued.

"The time of using the language of threat has passed, and they [Western countries] should put aside old and abolished methods," he said. "Constructive and transparent talk is the most suitable way for resolving any issue that is on their mind."

Talks between Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, and the EU's foreign-policy chief, Javier Solana, had been tentatively set for today in Vienna.

An Iranian diplomat said the talks are likely to be held in the Austrian capital in a "couple of days." Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said in Vienna that there was "no particular reason" for the delay.

The United States has led international concerns that Iran is covertly trying to develop a nuclear weapons program. Tehran says its program is for peaceful purposes.

In an apparent sign of international impatience, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Moscow was considering support for UN economic sanctions against Iran. However, Lavrov said Russia still had reservations about imposing sanctions and underlined Moscow's opposition to any military action.

(Reuters, AFP, AP)
Talking Technical

A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)

CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)


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THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


CHRONOLOGY

An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.

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