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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 11:39 GMT
Iran upbeat over EU nuclear talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi
Mr Kharrazi: "Final evaluation of negotiations will be by mid-March"
Iran has said it is hopeful that a "fruitful" agreement can be reached with the European Union on Iranian nuclear activities.

The US wants Iran to scrap its uranium enrichment programme, accusing Tehran of striving to build nuclear weapons.

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said he was "hopeful" that his talks with EU officials would "lead to a very fruitful agreement".

The nuclear issue is on the agenda of his talks in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Luxembourg currently holds the EU presidency.

Tough negotiations

Generator in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station
Iran is allowing inspections of its nuclear installations
Mr Kharrazi said the key was for Iran to find a "mechanism" to reassure the EU about its peaceful intentions.

According to Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU thinks it can "convince Iran... via the channels of negotiations in the next couple of weeks". He held talks with Mr Kharrazi in Hungary on Monday.

On Sunday Iran said it would not give up its plans to build a heavy-water nuclear reactor, insisting that its nuclear programme was peaceful.

European negotiators have offered to replace a heavy-water nuclear reactor - which can be used to make weapons-grade nuclear material - with a light-water reactor.

Low grades of uranium are used for nuclear reactor fuel, but higher grades can be used in atomic bombs.

Iran suspended enrichment temporarily in November as part of a dialogue process with the European Union.




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