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Europe

Iran: EU Nuclear Discussions 'Constructive'

Iran on Thursday branded a fresh round of talks with three EU countries as "constructive," state news reported, as negotiators attempted to ease a standoff over Iran's nuclear activities.

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Iran's nuclear negotiator Hasan Rohani with Joschka Fischer

Representatives from Britain, France and Germany met Iranian nuclear negotiators in London Wednesday for a fresh round of talks over Iran's nuclear program, which the United States suspects aims to build nuclear bombs.

Iranisches Atomkraftwerk Buschir

1995 picture of the construction of the Bushir nuclear power plan in souther Iran

Tehran insists its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.

Iranian negotiator Hossein Moussavian said Iran has delivered "a significant and complete message" from top nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani on the "means of getting out of the current situation."

He added that the message shows "the extreme goodwill" of the Iranians and stressed that the discussions were "constructive," without giving further details.

Resumption of activities?

On Sunday, an Iranian nuclear negotiator was quoted as saying that Iran could resume sensitive uranium enrichment activities if the EU-3 insisted on prolonging a voluntary enrichment freeze currently in effect.

"The Europeans know the minimal requirements of Iran, and we have reminded them during this meeting, and we await now their proposals," Moussavian said.

He said that the Europeans did not detail the proposals they are expected to submit but stuck to their commitment to have them ready by August.

The EU-3 is seeking to engage the Islamic state, offering trade and other benefits to persuade it to curb its nuclear plans, and promised detailed proposals for a technological, commercial and political cooperation by August.

Iran Atomprogramm

Foreign ministers from France, Britain and Germany meet Iranian officials in Geneva in May for crucial talks aimed at avoiding an escalation of Tehran's standoff with the West on its nuclear program after Iran warned there was a high risk of deadlock.

The Europeans are trying to convince Iran to definitively give up uranium enrichment, which produces fuel for the civil power stations and can be diverted to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Refusal to give up completely

Iran agreed to suspend enrichment in November to allow the opening of the talks, but refuses to fully give up uranium enrichment.

The EU has threatened to support longstanding US demands that Iran be taken before the UN Security Council for discussion of possible sanctions if it resumes enrichment.

The presidential election of June 24 saw the victory of ultra-conservative Mahmood Ahmadinejad and raised international concerns that Iran may take a more hardline turn during his presidency.

Moussavian also said the Europeans told them that they respect the result of the Iranian presidential election and "are ready to fully cooperate with the new president."

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