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Friday, October 06, 2006

World powers gather in London

Ministers from six world powers will meet in London today to discuss how to tackle Iran over its nuclear programme, with the United States, backed by Britain, expected to press for sanctions against Tehran. Russia and China, however, oppose this route and some European countries say diplomacy must be given more time.

Iran again urged the West yesterday to solve the dispute through talks but repeated it would not stop uranium enrichment. Tehran says the programme is only for power generation but the West suspects it wants to make a nuclear bomb.

U S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and representatives from China, France, Germany and Russia will gather for ministerial-level talks in the British capital from 5:00 pm (2130 hrs IST). The meeting will follow discussions earlier in the day between senior officials from their respective countries, US and British officials said.
The purpose of the meeting is ''to discuss the next steps on Iran'', a British Foreign Office spokesman told Reuters.

World powers are divided over how best to resolve the Iran deadlock. Washington is lobbying for sanctions at the U N Security Council after long-running talks with the Islamic Republic to stop enrichment failed to produce results.


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