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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 20:36 GMT
Iran-EU talks 'within two weeks'
Two technicians carry a box containing yellowcake at the Iranian nuclear facility at Isfahan
Iran says its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes
Iran says it will begin talks with European Union countries over its controversial nuclear programme within the next two weeks.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said officials would begin negotiating an agenda ahead of ministerial talks.

The talks come after the United Nations nuclear watchdog decided to delay referring Iran to the Security Council.

Negotiations broke down in August, after Iran restarted work linked with uranium enrichment.

The US and the EU suspect that Iran is pursuing a covert nuclear weapons programme but Tehran says its programme is peaceful.

IRAN'S NUCLEAR STANDOFF
September 2002: Work begins on Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr
December 2002: Satellite photographs reveal nuclear sites at Arak and Natanz. Iran agrees to an IAEA inspection
September 2003: IAEA gives Iran weeks to prove it is not pursuing atomic weapons
November 2003: Iran suspends uranium enrichment and allows tougher inspections; IAEA says no proof of any weapons programme
June 2004: IAEA rebukes Iran for not fully co-operating with nuclear inquiry
November 2004: Iran suspends uranium enrichment as part of deal with EU
August 2005: Iran rejects EU proposals and resumes work at Isfahan nuclear plant

In an interview with Turkey's private NTV television on Wednesday, Mr Mottaki said that his country was against nuclear weapons but was determined to "claim its rights through negotiations" for peaceful use of nuclear technology.

The International Atomic Energy Agency last week agreed to put off taking Iran to the UN Security Council over its failure to comply with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

It did so to give Russia more time to broker a compromise deal to enrich uranium on its territory on Iran's behalf.

Responding to a question about possible negotiations with the United States, Mr Mottaki said they were "rumours".

"Negotiating with the United States is not on our agenda," he said on a visit to Turkey.



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