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US Confirms Major Power Meeting On Iran In Berlin

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 31, 2006
Senior diplomats from the major powers confronting Iran over its suspect nuclear program will meet next week in Berlin to draw up a package of sanctions, US officials confirmed Thursday.

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns will represent Washington at the talks Thursday with his counterparts from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Iran failed to meet a Thursday deadline set by the UN Security Council for suspending a uranium enrichment and reprocessing program that Washington says is a cover for developing nuclear weapons.

Under the UN resolution, Iran now faces sanctions and McCormack said Washington was expecting the Security Council to swiftly pass a new resolution laying out the punitive measures.

McCormack said the Berlin meeting of the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany would discuss "which sanctions will be contained in that resolution."

Western diplomats said EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who has been mediating with Iran in the nuclear standoff, would meet next Wednesday in Berlin with Tehran's main negotiator, Ali Larijani.

McCormack flatly ruled out even indirect talks between representatives of the six major powers and the Iranian envoy in Berlin.

But he said that both before and after the Berlin talks he expected "there will be diplomatic contacts with the Iranians to encourage them to take the offer that has been made to them and to comply with the just demands of the international community."

Source: Agence France-Presse

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