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Iran, EU Talks In Brussels

13 December 2004 -- Officials of Iran and the European Union are due to start talks today on issues connected to Iran's nuclear activities.

Hassan Rowhani, Iran's top negotiator on nuclear issues, is expected to meet in Brussels with EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana and the foreign ministers of Great Britain, France, and Germany.

The talks are expected to focus on implementing the deal between Tehran and the EU under which Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment -- a process that could be used to make nuclear weapons -- in exchange for economic and technology benefits, including in the nuclear area, from the EU.

Rowhani today warned that Iran will abandon the talks if no clear progress is being made.

And Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi ruled out any permanent freeze of uranium enrichment, saying Iran is interested in a short-term suspension only.