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Six powers favour dual track on Iran nuclear issue: France

SKorea presses Iran on nuclear activities
South Korea on Thursday urged Iran to restore international confidence in its nuclear activities during talks with Tehran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, a Seoul spokesman said. Mottaki, who arrived from North Korea and briefed his South Korean opposite number on his mission there, said Iran's nuclear programmes were not aimed at developing atomic weapons but for peaceful purposes. The foreign ministry spokesman was issuing a summary of the talks between Mottaki and South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan, who said that it was important for Tehran to restore confidence in its activities. In Pyongyang earlier, Mottaki met his North Korean counterpart Pak Ui Chun and other top officials, the communist nation's official Korean Central News Agency said. The United States accuses Iran of using its nuclear programme as a cover to build nuclear arms. Tehran insists it is strictly peaceful and aimed solely at generating electricity. Diplomatic efforts to disarm North Korea have also hit a snag over how to verify its commitment to dismantling its nuclear facilities.
by Staff Writers
Paris (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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Bush team determined to work on Iran nuclear issue
Washington (AFP) Nov 12, 2008
A US envoy will meet his international partners in Paris this week to discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions, as the departing Bush administration aims to "work the issue," officials said Wednesday.

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