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. EU hopes Iran's new nuclear negotiator won't complicate talks
BRUSSELS, Oct 25 (AFP) Oct 25, 2007
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Thursday he hoped the appointment of a new Iranian nuclear negotiator would not complicate talks with Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

Solana met Tehran's latest pointman on the nuclear issue, Saeed Jalili, for the first time in Rome on Tuesday, but said it was Jalili's predecessor Ali Larijani who actually led the talks.

"I hope the new situation will not complicate the issues, which are difficult enough," Solana told reporters in Brussels.

Jalili, a hardliner seen as close to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was appointed chief nuclear negotiator after Larijani abruptly resigned the position at the weekend -- reportedly after falling out with the president.

Nevertheless, Larijani also attended the talks in Rome and, according to Solana, was more active than his successor.

"Larijani was leading the team from the Iran side ... that is what I can tell you," Solana said.

Solana was negotiating in Rome on behalf of major powers Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States.

The United States says Iran's enrichment operations are aimed at fuelling a covert nuclear weapons programme, while Iran insists it wants only to generate energy and has every right to the full nuclear fuel cycle.

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