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. Iranian nuclear negotiator to hold talks in Moscow Friday
MOSCOW, Nov 9 (AFP) Nov 09, 2006
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani arrives in Moscow Friday for negotiations with Russian officials aimed at unblocking an international standoff over the Islamic republic's nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Larijani "arrives in Moscow tomorrow," Lavrov told journalists on Thursday. "He will have talks with the Russian security council and at the ministry of foreign affairs."

Lavrov called for a start to "negotiations as quickly as possible on resolving the problem."

Lavrov reiterated Moscow's offer to enrich uranium needed by Iran for a proposed civilian atomic power programme on Russian soil -- a proposition seen as a possible way out of the current standoff.

"I think that our proposal to enrich uranium on Russian territory for Iran's peaceful nuclear programmes will be entirely appropriate," he said.

"When such negotiations begin, we will consider all possibilities that could contribute to resolving the problem within the framework of the non-proliferation regime," Lavrov said.

Earlier Thursday, Larijani shrugged off threatened UN sanctions against Tehran, which has refused to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work that could be used to build atomic weapons.

Iran says the work is part of a civilian nuclear programme in which Russia is building the first power plant at Bushehr. Major foreign powers have said it is part of a covert nuclear weapons programme.

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