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. Iran nuclear chief likely to meet Solana in days
TEHRAN, June 17 (AFP) Jun 17, 2007
Iran said on Sunday its chief negotiator Ali Larijani is likely to meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana within days for talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

"A meeting between Larijani and Solana is likely to take place in the next days. But there are still contacts to choose the date and the venue," foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.

Solana's spokeswoman Cristina Gallach told AFP in Brussels that the meeting would take place "soon" but added that a date had not yet been fixed.

The two men have been holding a series of talks aimed at resolving the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, which is feared to be a cover for an atomic weapons drive.

Oil-rich Iran denies the allegation, insisting it only wants to make nuclear fuel to meet its growing energy demands.

Iran has been slapped with two sets of UN Security Council sanctions and it is likely to face a third for its refusal to suspend sensitive enrichment work, the process which makes nuclear fuel and the fissile core of an atom bomb.

Solana and Larijani last met on May 31 in Madrid, but no breakthrough was reported.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed scepticism on June 1 that talks between Iran and the European Union would produce any commitment from Tehran on suspending uranium enrichment.

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