Iran Nuclear NewsFrench FM confirms Iran-EU meeting in coming days

French FM confirms Iran-EU meeting in coming days

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AFP: French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier confirmed on Sunday that a meeting between the Iranian authorities and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany on Tehran’s nuclear program would take place in the coming days. “We have scheduled a meeting of the three Europeans with Iranian authorities in the coming days,” Barnier told AFP, without specifying the venue of the talks. AFP

VIENNA – French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier confirmed on Sunday that a meeting between the Iranian authorities and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany on Tehran’s nuclear program would take place in the coming days.

“We have scheduled a meeting of the three Europeans with Iranian authorities in the coming days,” Barnier told AFP, without specifying the venue of the talks.

Barnier, who was attending ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the allied occupation of Austria at the end of World War II, also said his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov had expressed Moscow’s solidarity with the stance of Britain, France and Germany which are known as the EU-3.

“Russia confirmed its solidarity with the European demarche,” he added.

“We continue to say that we must pursue the dialogue which Europe has launched by respecting the spirit and the letter of the November (2004) accord,” Barnier noted.

“Iran must understand that this is the only way we will be able to move forward toward an agreement,” he added.

His comments came shortly after Iran said it was postponing its threatened resumption of sensitive nuclear activities, a move that would have violated a the 2004 deal with the three major European powers.

“We have to officially announce this by letter to the IAEA, but as the Europeans have demanded a new high-level meeting we have postponed for several days the announcement of the resumption” of conversion activities, Cyrus Nasseri, Iran’s negotiator at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency Sunday.

Iran said it was ready to meet top European officials in the coming days but would not continue long-term nuclear negotiations without first resuming sensitive uranium work.

“We cannot continue the negotiations with the Europeans without having resumed some of our activities,” Hassan Rowhani told state television.

He added that Iran’s decision to resume uranium conversion work — a precursor to uranium enrichment — was “still valid”.

“We are in favour of negotiations. We can negotiate for months, but we cannot negotiate under the present conditions,” Rowhani said, reflecting the regime’s eagerness to resume activities that were suspended in November 2004.

The so-called EU-3 had warned Tehran that any violation of the 2004 agreement would have “consequences” for the country, and proposed new high-level talks.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also told reporters that Iran had received appeals from South Africa, Malaysia and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan — who telephoned Iran late Saturday — to hold more negotiations.

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