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Last Updated: Monday, 4 April, 2005, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Iran hopes for EU nuclear accord
By Bethany Bell
BBC News, Vienna

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami
Khatami insists on Iran's right to develop nuclear energy
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has said he is hopeful a solution can be found with the EU over the issue of Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

Iran has been negotiating with the UK, France and Germany for trade and technology benefits.

In return Iran would provide guarantees it is not developing nuclear weapons.

He said Europe and Iran were working on a solution that would acknowledge Iran's right to the "peaceful development of nuclear energy".

This solution would also aim to overcome the worries of the Europeans, he said.

President Khatami was speaking after talks with Austrian leaders in Vienna.

He said Iran opposed the gross misuse of nuclear technology to make atomic weapons and that Tehran was working closely with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The talks between the Europeans and Iran are deadlocked over Tehran's refusal to give up its uranium enrichment programme.

Enriched uranium can be used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants or atomic weapons.

The US has accused Iran of using its civilian nuclear programme as a cover to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

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