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. France says Europe still open to nuclear talks with Iran
PARIS (AFP) Aug 25, 2005
Europe is ready to examine Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's proposals for his country's nuclear programme and will keep the door open for continued negotiations, the French foreign ministry said Thursday.

"We have noted the statements by Mr Ahmadinejad. As the minister (Philippe Douste-Blazy) stated the day before yesterday, we wish to work with Iran and we are keeping the door open," said foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei.

"We will examine the content of the Iranian proposals when we see them," he added.

The new hardline president of the Islamic republic on Wednesday said Iran wanted to continue negotiations with the European Union and would announce innovations involving the nuclear fuel cycle aimed at resolving the dispute.

But he also said Tehran would defend its rights to nuclear technology used in power generation, but which the West fears could be diverted to make atomic weapons.

A troika comprising France, Britain and Germany broke off talks in response to Tehran restarting its uranium-ore conversion plant on August 8, although Iran has refrained from the more sensitive phase of enrichment.

Douste-Blazy on Tuesday said the EU-3 were still prepared to help Iran, but Tehran would have to halt its nuclear programme as agreed in a November 2004 Paris accord.

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