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Iran to give EU 'last chance' to save atomic deal
Updated: 2005-05-16 19:59

Iran said on Monday it will give the European Union a last chance to salvage a nuclear deal at talks on May 23 before it resumes atomic work which Washington fears is part of a weapons program.

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told the official IRNA news agency that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani would meet the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany on May 23 to try to reach an 11th-hour compromise.

"The venue for negotiations has not been determined yet," he said, but senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian told the Iran News daily that the meeting would be in Brussels.

Iranian officials have been negotiating with the EU trio to try to allay fears that Tehran is seeking nuclear arms.

The Europeans last year won Iran's assurance that it would suspend its nuclear fuel cycle activities for as long as talks went on.

But Iran has become frustrated with the talks and said it would restart making nuclear fuel, an action that would marshal the Europeans behind U.S. attempts to haul Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

But Iran said it would give ministerial level talks one last shot before announcing the return to making atomic fuel.

Iran has a track record of pushing talks to crisis point before clinching a deal at high-level international meetings.

Many political analysts speculate that Iran is unlikely to spark a full blown international crisis before its presidential elections next month.

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