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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


World Powers to Discuss Sanctions on Iran

By VOA News
02 September 2009

Six world powers are meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, to discuss imposing harsher sanctions on Iran if it does not abandon its controversial nuclear program.

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain - plus Germany have offered Iran trade incentives to stop its uranium enrichment program.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Tuesday said Tehran is ready to resume negotiations with world powers about its nuclear program.

Iranian state media reports quoted Sa'id Jalili, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, as saying Iran has an "updated" set of proposals that are intended as a basis for talks.

U.S. and EU officials say they have not yet received the updated proposals.

On Wednesday, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said he still has not received the proposal but will be willing to discuss it after reviewing it. The White House said Tuesday it has not received any new proposals.

Western nations accuse Iran of seeking to develop weapons, while Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.

But the outgoing chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran's nuclear threat is "hyped" and there is no proof the country will soon have nuclear weapons. Mohamed ElBaradei made the comment in an interview with the U.S.-based magazine Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

He acknowledged there is concern about Iran's intentions, but he said "the idea that we'll wake up tomorrow and Iran will have a nuclear weapon is an idea that is not supported by the facts."

ElBaradei says the best way forward is to develop a dialogue between Iran and the United States.

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