Iran General NewsRice, Steinmeier hold follow-up talks on Iran

Rice, Steinmeier hold follow-up talks on Iran

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DPA: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met late Tuesday in Washington to discuss the effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Washington – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met late Tuesday in Washington to discuss the effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Steinmeier has sought to persuade the United States to take part in European Union negotiations with Iran and was expected to urge Rice to accept direct dialogue with Iranian officials.

The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic relations for 25 years, but US President George W Bush has authorized his ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, to hold talks with Iran about stabilizing the situation in Iraq, but not for discussions on the nuclear dispute.

The meeting follows discussion last week in Berlin among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – plus Germany.

That meeting came days after the Security Council demanded that Iran halt uranium enrichment, which can be used to develop nuclear arms.

Steinmeier and Rice were also expected to discuss aid for the Palestinians, now that Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization, has assumed control of the Palestinian Authority.

The United States and European Union are in the process of reviewing direct aid to the Palestinian Authority following Hamas’ January 25 victory in parliamentary elections.

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