AFP: Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on Tuesday held talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier about the row over Tehran’s contested nuclear programme, the foreign ministry said. BERLIN, June 5, 2007 (AFP) – Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on Tuesday held talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier about the row over Tehran’s contested nuclear programme, the foreign ministry said.
The ministry declined to give any details of the meeting.
Diplomatic sources in Berlin said that Germany was making “efforts to map the way forward on the Iranian nuclear dossier in close and continuous consultation with the EU foreign policy coordinator Javier Solana.”
Solana and Larijani have met twice in recent weeks but failed to defuse the international standoff over Iran’s refusal to stop sensitive nuclear enrichment work.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was disappointed that their latest encounter in Madrid last week failed to produce any concrete results.
Iran has defied international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can produce the fissile core of an atomic weapon and stands at the heart of its dispute with the international community.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that it was too late to stop Iran’s nuclear programme, telling reporters: “We have broken through to a new stage and it is too late to push us back.”
Tehran intrangisence has seen the West threaten to impose more sanctions against the Islamic republic.
The UN Security Council has already agreed two sets of sanctions against Iran for ignoring its calls to suspend enrichment, and Western powers are now openly talking of a new resolution after Iran missed the latest deadline.
A UN report released last month stated that Tehran could be three to eight years away from developing nuclear arms.
Tehran vehemently denies US accusations that it is seeking to build up a nuclear arsenal, saying it wants only to generate energy for a growing population when fossil fuels eventually run out.
Solana is trying to create the conditions for negotiations on a way to tempt Tehran to halt enrichment in exchange for a package of political, economic and trade incentives.