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. Six powers to meet on Iran Thursday: French foreign ministry
PARIS, Sept 22 (AFP) Sep 22, 2008
Foreign ministers from the six powers leading the international community's response to Iran's nuclear programme are to meet Thursday in New York to consider possible further sanctions, France said.

The top envoys from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States will hold talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, foreign ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux told reporters.

France joined the United States last week to call for further sanctions after a new report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, said Iran had not frozen uranium enrichment activities as demanded by the UN.

Russia said Saturday it had rejected US proposals for new UN Security Council measures against Iran and that the focus should be on continuing efforts to restore dialogue with Tehran on a negotiated solution.

Senior diplomats from the six nations met in Washington on Friday to lay the groundwork for this week's meeting and "reaffirmed their support for a dual approach combining dialogue with sanctions," said Desagneaux.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in its report that Iran was stalling a UN investigation into its disputed nuclear programme, refusing access to documents, individuals and sites.

"The Six have expressed their concerns as Iran is still refusing to abide by Security Council resolutions and provide answers to the very precise questions asked by the IAEA," said the foreign ministry spokesman.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei called on Iran to clear up allegations that it was involved in studies to make a nuclear warhead.

"Unless Iran provides such transparency... the agency will not be able to provide credible assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran," said ElBaradei at the opening of a meeting of the 35-member IAEA board in Vienna.

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