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. Iran's nuclear negotiator due in Germany for talks
BERLIN, June 5 (AFP) Jun 05, 2007
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani is due to hold talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin later Tuesday, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

The meeting comes less than a week after Larijani met with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Madrid.

That encounter failed to break the impasse over Iran's nuclear programme in which Tehran is refusing to halt sensitive uranium enrichment work and world powers are threatening to impose further sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Solana's office said afterwards that there had been "some progress on a series of questions."

But UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was disapppointed that the encounter had failed to produce any concrete results.

Iran has defied international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can produce the fissile core of an atomic weapon and stands at the heart of its dispute with the international community.

The UN Security Council has already agreed two sets of sanctions against Iran for ignoring its calls to suspend enrichment, and Western powers are now openly talking of a new resolution after Iran missed the latest deadline.

A UN report released last month stated that Tehran could be three to eight years away from developing nuclear arms.

The Islamic republic vehemently denies US accusations that it is seeking to build up a nuclear arsenal, saying it wants only to generate energy for a growing population when fossil fuels eventually run out.

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