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. Six powers favour dual track on Iran nuclear issue: France
PARIS, Nov 14 (AFP) Nov 14, 2008
Representatives from the six powers involved in negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear programme have reaffirmed their dual-track approach of dialogue and sanctions with Tehran, the French foreign ministry said Thursday.

The political directors from China, Germany, Russia, Britain and the United States along with France and a representative for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana met in Paris Thursday evening to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue, the ministry said in a statement.

The communique recalled that the UN Security Council "reaffirmed the importance of the dual-track approach," namely talking with Tehran while also considering imposing more sanctions on the regime if it fails to halt sensitive nuclear work.

Tehran maintains that it is enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes to generate power, while Western powers, especially Washington, suspect Iran of trying to develop an atomic bomb.

"The meeting allowed the participants to review the current situation and to discuss the way ahead on both tracks," the ministry said, adding that the six powers would continue their talks on the next steps in the coming weeks.

Ahead of Thursday meeting, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told journalists that "we have always been supporters of both sanctions and dialogue, and it must continue like that."

He added: "We haven't had a lot of results in our attempts at dialogue with the Iranians... (but) it is not a reason to give up."

Kouchner also noted that US president-elect Barack Obama had talked during his election campaign about possibly opening a dialogue between Washington and Tehran.

"It's up to the American president to put that in motion starting in January," after he is sworn into office, Kouchner said.

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