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. Iran preparing for nuclear talks with EU foreign ministers: report
TEHRAN (AFP) May 14, 2005
Iran is preparing for direct talks with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany after backing away from a move to immediately resume sensitive nuclear activities, a senior official was quoted as saying Saturday.

Top nuclear official Hossein Moussavian, speaking to Iran's Mehr news agency, said such a meeting could take place in Europe within the next 10 days.

"Both sides are preparing the ground for such a meeting. If all the arrangements are worked out, probably it is going to be held in Europe in the middle of the next week," he was quoted as saying.

"The aim is to find a successful solution that is satisfactory for both parties," he added.

On Friday Iran backed away from kick-starting uranium conversion work, a move that would have violated an agreement with the three European Union nations.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhnai had been warned in a letter Thursday that such a step would have "consequences" -- namely the referral of Iran's file to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency and then the UN Security Council.

The letter also proposed a four-way high-level meeting in the near future, diplomats said.

Uranium conversion involves turning mined uranium "yellowcake" into uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) and then into uranium hexafluoride (UF6), a feed gas for centrifuges that carry out the highly sensitive enrichment process.

Iran says it wants to master the enrichment process to produce fuel for reactors. But the technology could also be diverted to make the explosive core of a bomb.

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