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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China cancels six-nation talks on Iranian nuclear program

RIA Novosti

14:03 15/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti) - A meeting of representatives of the Iran Six due next week to discuss Tehran's nuclear program has been canceled at China's request, Iran's ISNA news agency said on Tuesday.

The meeting between diplomats from Russia, the United States, Britain, China, Germany and France was scheduled for December 22. A teleconference will be held in place of the face-to-face talks.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are working together to peacefully resolve international concerns over Iran's nuclear program. During their last meeting on November 20 in Brussels, political directors or deputy foreign ministers from the six powers urged Iran to agree to a UN-backed uranium enrichment scheme.

Iran, which is already under three sets of United Nations sanctions for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, recently announced plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities. Tehran insists it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity, while Western powers suspect it of pursuing an atomic weapons program.

The IAEA in November censured Iran for withholding information on its nuclear program. The UN's nuclear watchdog also urged Iran to freeze construction of its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility near the city of Qom.

During a UN Security Council meeting last Thursday, the United States, Britain and France warned Iran that they were likely to push for new sanctions early next year if it refused to halt its nuclear program.

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