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Last Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005, 00:42 GMT 01:42 UK
Iran president meets EU ministers
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised to unveil new proposals
Iran's president has met three leading EU foreign ministers amid concern about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met the UK, French and German foreign ministers in the highest-level talks on the subject since his election this summer.

They said the "EU 3" would watch Mr Ahmadinejad's UN speech on Saturday before deciding their next step.

Earlier Mr Ahmadinejad said Iran was ready to share peaceful nuclear secrets with other Islamic states.

The participants in Thursday's meeting at the UN said little about the details of their discussion.

But UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said they wanted to avoid referring Iran to the UN Security Council over suspicions about its nuclear activities.

"Our aim all the way through in this when we started these negotiations was to keep the matter out of the Security Council," he said.

"What we're going to do is to listen carefully to what the president is going to say on Saturday afternoon and we'll take it from there."

Mr Ahmadinejad has promised to unveil new proposals in his speech to the UN.

Demands for access

Iran has insisted it has the right to pursue a civilian nuclear programme for peaceful purposes.

But the US suspects Iran's scheme is a cover for a nuclear weapons programme, and has threatened to refer Tehran to the Security Council to face possible sanctions.

Two technicians carry a box containing yellowcake at the Iranian nuclear facility at Isfahan
Iran says its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report earlier this month said questions about Iran's nuclear programme remained unanswered, despite an intensive investigation.

The UK, France, Germany and the US are pressing Iran to provide more access to its nuclear plans.

The four countries are expected to put their case to a meeting of the IAEA on Monday.

Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted the Iranian president as saying on Thursday: "With respect to the needs of Islamic countries, we are ready to transfer nuclear know-how."

He went on to say that an Islamic republic "never seeks weapons of mass destruction".

The ultra-conservative leader, elected in June, was speaking at a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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