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Iran, EU Discuss Major Powers' Nuclear Talks Offer

The EU's Javier Solana (left) and Iran's Jalili in Tehran on July 4

The EU's Javier Solana (left) and Iran's Jalili in Tehran on July 4

BRUSSELS -- Iranian nuclear negotiator Said Jalili and European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana have discussed an offer from major powers on Tehran's nuclear program, a EU official said.

An Iranian official, speaking before the telephone call, said Jalili would not discuss the main demand by world powers that Tehran freeze sensitive nuclear work.

"During the [phone] conversation, the freeze-for-freeze issue will not be discussed. Like the last talks [in Geneva], they will only discuss the common points of the two packages," the senior Iranian official told Reuters.

The EU official gave no details of whether Iran had accepted or rejected the major powers' conditions for entering formal negotiations, which are a freeze on expanding its uranium-enrichment drive in return for holding off on further UN sanctions.

"Mr. Solana will be in touch with the authorities of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States," the EU official said.

Solana has held exploratory talks with Tehran on behalf of the six major powers. He and Jalili met in Geneva last month but Solana said at the time Iran had not given a clear answer.

Iranian state radio said that in the August 4 phone call, the two men had "emphasized continuing the course of the Geneva talks. The preservation of this course requires a constructive and positive environment."

It said they agreed to consult again with each other in the coming days and to continue their contacts.

The United States said on August 3 that Iran had left the UN Security Council no choice but to increase sanctions by ignoring demands that it halt nuclear activities which the West believes are aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.
RFE/RL Iran Report

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