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Iran, EU say progress made in nuclear talks

Written by: Staff
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VIENNA, Sep 10 (Reuters) Iran's nuclear negotiator and the EU foreign policy chief today said that they had made progress in talks in the search for a compromise to avoid possible UN sanctions over Tehran's atomic programme.

The European Union's Javier Solana said the meeting was productive and that the two would meet again next week, while Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani said some misunderstandings had been cleared up.

The EU and the United States want Iran to stop enriching uranium to qualify for trade benefits offered by world powers and pre-empt sanctions by the UN Security Council.

''The meeting, the hours of work, have been productive. We have clarified some of the misunderstandings that existed before,'' Solana said.

''We have made progress. We want to continue that line and we are going to meet next week,'' he said.

The United States is pushing to begin moves next week for sanctions against Iran, its arch West Asia foe, over Tehran's refusal to halt its nuclear fuel drive before any negotiations to put the wide-ranging incentives offer into effect.

Washington's EU allies share its suspicions that Iran's nuclear work is a veiled bid to assemble atom bombs rather than a quest for an alternative electricity source as Tehran insists.

But, fearing the economic repercussions of isolating the world's No 4 oil supplier, many in the EU prefer a face-saving compromise that might lie in getting Tehran to curb enrichment after the start of a process to implement the benefits package.

REUTERS SY BST1732

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