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. Iran ready to resume talks with EU troika: FM
BEIJING (AFP) Oct 14, 2005
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Friday that Tehran was ready to resume negotiations with France, Germany and Britain on its nuclear power program, but said talks must be "goal-oriented".

"The Iranian government is willing to restart the talks with the three European countries, but the content of the negotiations should be goal-oriented and should be efficient," Mottaki said.

The Iranian minister made the remarks at the end of a two-day visit to Beijing, where he held wide-ranging talks with the Chinese government on the standoff that centres on Western fears that Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb.

China has maintained that the issue be resolved peacefully within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and has opposed it being brought before the UN Security Council, where Beijing holds veto power.

"We are in total agreement with the Chinese side on the Iranian nuclear energy issue," Mottaki said.

Last month, however, Beijing abstained from voting on an IAEA resolution that found Iran to be in non-compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The resolution opens the way for the matter to be referred to the UN Security Council.

On Wednesday the Iranian foreign ministry announced it was ready to restart talks with the three EU nations but it was not prepared to hear renewed demands that Tehran abandon sensitive nuclear fuel cycle technology.

Talks with Britain, France and Germany broke down in August, when Iran slammed the door on a deal that offered incentives for a full cessation of fuel cycle work, which the West fears could be used to weapons production.

Iran also ended a freeze on fuel cycle work by resuming uranium conversion -- a precursor to potentially dual-use civilian and military enrichment work -- in defiance of an accord struck with the EU-3 in Paris last November.

The Islamic republic insists it only wants to make reactor fuel and that it has a right to do so as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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