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. France says EU-3 not acting alone in Iran nuclear negotiations
PARIS (AFP) Aug 26, 2005
France insisted Friday that the three EU countries negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program have been working in conjunction with their EU partners and the UN atomic watchdog, after Iran questioned their role.

The French foreign ministry was reacting to statements on Thursday by the new Iranian representative for nuclear issues, Ali Larijani, who questioned the legitimacy of the EU-3 to negotiate on Iran's nuclear activities.

The so-called EU three -- France, Germany and Britain -- "have been involved in this issue out of concern for the major problems it poses for Iran and for the international community," foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said.

"They do not work in isolation."

He said the three have the "complete support of the entire European Union," were addressing the nuclear issue as defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and were taking note of other players such as the United States and Russia.

After a meeting Friday with IAEA director in Vienna, Larijani said Tehran would submit new proposals for negotiations with the Europeans within the next month.

Iran has defied the international community by resuming work on making power reactor fuel that could also be used to make nuclear weapons but insists that it wants to continue talks on guaranteeing its atomic program is peaceful.

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