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. US backs EU-Iran talks, presses Tehran over nukes
BRUSSELS (AFP) May 24, 2005
A top US official voiced backing Tuesday for EU efforts to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear programmes, underlining that Tehran must not be allowed to develop atomic weapons.

US under secretary of state Nicholas Burns made the comments after talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and members of the so-called EU-3 -- France, Britain and Germany -- due to hold talks with Iran in Geneva Wednesday.

"The US supports the EU-3's negotiating efforts to end Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapons capability," he said.

"Iran has an obligation to demonstrate to the world it is not doing so," he added.

He said that Tehran -- which Washington has long suspected of seeking to develop nuclear bombs -- must abide by an accord struck with the Europeans in Paris last November, under which it vowed to freeze key nuclear activities.

"We call on Iran to adhere to the Paris agreement, maintain its suspension of nuclear-related activities, and negotiate in good faith the cessation and dismantling of all sensitive nuclear fuel activities," he said.

The EU-3 and Iran held official-level talks in Brussels on Tuesday to prepare for the Geneva talks. Afterwards an Iranian negotiator said there was only a "50-50" chance of success.

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