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Iranian Nuclear Negotiator To Meet With Chirac

24 February 2005 -- Iran's top nuclear negotiator and Supreme National Security Council chief Hassan Rowhani is due to meet with French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace today in Paris.

Rowhani is also expected to meet with other top French officials for talks expected to focus on the European Union effort led by France, Britain, and Germany to persuade Iran to abandon uranium-enrichment activities -- which could be used for nuclear weapons -- in exchange for trade and other benefits.

Iranian officials have ruled out any permanent halt to uranium enrichment. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

Yesterday, U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said they were united that Iran must not develop a nuclear weapon.

While saying that "all options" remain open, Bush backed the diplomatic moves with Iran being led by the European countries.