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Iran And India In Nuclear Talks Ahead Of UN Deadline

Iran Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mehdi Safari (L) shakes hands with Indian Secretary (East) for the Ministry of External Affairs, Rajiv Sikri, before a official meeting in New Delhi 29 August 2006. Safari is in India for a two-day official visit. Photo courtesy of Raveendran and AFP.
by Staff Writers
New Delhi, India (AFP) Aug 29, 2006
Iran briefed India on Tuesday on Tehran's nuclear programme, an Indian official said, two days ahead of a UN deadline for the Islamic nation to halt uranium enrichment.

Visiting Iranian deputy foreign minister Mehdi Safari gave Tehran's views to Indian officials on an incentives package offered by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- plus Germany, said the official.

"The deputy foreign minister put forward Iran's point of view on his country's nuclear programme," the official, who did not wish to be named, said.

He gave no details of the Iranian official's comments.

The UN Security Council has given Iran until Thursday to suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities -- which Tehran says is part of a civilian nuclear programme -- or face the threat of sanctions.

The package of incentives, which includes light water reactors and an ensured supply of nuclear fuel for Tehran, is dependent on Iran first suspending nuclear enrichment.

Few details have emerged of Iran's reply to the package. But French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said Tuesday that Tehran's response to "proposals from the international community is not satisfactory."

The United States has already warned it would lead to moves to impose sanctions if the reply fell short of Security Council demands.

India has opposed the use of force to compel Iran to give up its nuclear programme. Tehran says the programme is for generating electricity, but Western nations led by Washington allege it is a cover for developing atomic weapons.

New Delhi has twice voted against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency, criticising its nuclear programmes.

The Islamic regime has said it still seeks talks on Western concerns about its nuclear programme but has ruled out a formal moratorium on enrichment.

Over the weekend, Iran underscored its determination to keep up its nuclear programme with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurating a plant to produce heavy water for use in a new research reactor.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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