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. Iranian foreign minister to meet German counterpart
BERLIN, Sept 15 (AFP) Sep 15, 2008
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will meet his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin Monday for talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, the German government said.

The Berlin talks are part of a series of meetings between the European Union and Iran over Tehran's nuclear work and were initiated by Mottaki, German foreign ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner said.

"The option of new measures from the UN Security Council remains on the table if we are unable to reach an accord or make progress," Ploetner told a regular government news conference.

"Our clear preference is direct talks that lead to a positive outcome and we believe that is also the preference of the Iranian side."

Germany belongs to the group of six world powers attempting to convince Iran to halt sensitive nuclear work and has offered an incentives package in exchange for full suspension of uranium enrichment.

The UN nuclear watchdog IAEA could publish its latest report on Iran's nuclear programme as early as Monday afternoon, sources close to the agency said Sunday.

In its latest Iran report published in May, the IAEA accused Tehran of withholding key information on alleged attempts to make nuclear arms.

The United States and other western nations fear Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, an accusation Tehran firmly rejects.

Tehran, which has already been hit with three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment, risks further sanctions for failing to give a clear response to the incentives offer.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Mottaki for talks Saturday on the completion by a Russian company of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, a project that has worried Washington.

The head of the Russian company working on Iran's first nuclear power plant, Atomstroiexport, said last week that the start-up of the first reactor at Bushehr would be "irreversible" by February next year.

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