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Iran wants 'serious' talks on nuclear issue

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Iran wants 'serious' talks on nuclear issue

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Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator says he is ready to start “serious” talks with Western powers on their offer of incentives to stop uranium enrichment.

Ali Larijani was handing over a letter of response to the package to representatives from Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China and the US.

He said they should discuss nuclear issues, technical and economic cooperation, and security.

The American ambassador to the UN John Bolton said: “We will obviously study the Iranian response carefully but we are also prepared if it does not meet the terms set out by the five permanent foreign ministers to proceed here in the Security Council, as the ministers have agreed, with economic sanctions.”

Western powers suspect Iran wants nuclear technology to develop weapons. Tehran insists uranium enrichment is to generate electricity.

The UN has a deadline of the end of the month for Iran to stop enrichment or face possible sanctions.

Analysts say oil-exporting Iran may be aiming to expose splits in the Security Council between Europe and America, and Russia and China; the latter two viewing Tehran as a key trade partner.