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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow expects Teheran to meet 'Iran Six' next week in Geneva

RIA Novosti

14:56 02/12/2010 MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow expects Teheran and the Iran Six to meet on December 6 in Geneva to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear program, Russian Envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Thursday.

"A meeting with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, is due to be held on December 6 in Geneva if no political setbacks happen at the last minute, and the Geneva airport, which is now closed due to snowfall, opens [by then]," Chizhov said.

"This will have a symbolic meaning for the resumption of talks," he said. "We expect Ms. Ashton to return from Switzerland by the beginning of the summit [Russia-EU in Brussels on December 7] and share her impressions," Chizhov continued.

Russia does not believe Iran plans to develop nuclear weapons but supports efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency to clarify the situation, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

The West, led by the United States, suspects Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic insists it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.

Asked during a satellite interview with U.S. talk show host Larry King aired on CNN on Wednesday of what Russia's attitude is toward Iran's nuclear program, Putin said: "Iran's nuclear program has been implemented for 20 years."

The Iran Six, which comprises Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany, has been trying since 2003 to convince Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program and to alleviate concerns about its nuclear ambitions.

Iran's top nuclear official said in October that the Islamic Republic currently possesses 30 kg of 20 percent-enriched uranium and is continuing to increase its nuclear fuel reserves. He also said the country was seeking to reach self-sufficiency in uranium mining in the next seven-eight years.

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