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Major powers to talk on Iran's N-programme

world Updated: Apr 08, 2008 14:47 IST
AFP
UN Security Council

The five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany and the EU, will meet in Shanghai next week to discuss negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme, China said Tuesday.

Envoys from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and the European Union will on April 16 discuss "plans to resume talks on the Iranian nuclear issue and promote a resolution of the issue through diplomatic negotiations," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

The UN Security Council last month tightened sanctions on Iran for failing to heed repeated ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack had said on Monday that a meeting was planned but declined to give a date for the talks.

"They're going to talk about the disincentive path, they're going to talk about the incentive path, and the balance between those two," he said, when asked what was expected to be discussed at the meeting.

Jiang offered no further details. Iran said on Saturday it would not make any concessions in exchange for incentives offered by the West to halt sensitive atomic activities.

The six members have pledged to expand a 2006 offer of economic incentives to Iran in return for a freeze on uranium enrichment.

But Iran last month ruled out further talks with the six saying that concerns about its nuclear programme should be dealt with exclusively by the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The United States and its European allies have led efforts to pressure Iran into freezing its disputed uranium enrichment work, a process that can be used both to make nuclear fuel and the core of an atomic bomb.

Tehran insists its programme is peaceful.