Tehran had agreed to the talks

Iran has renewed its promise to refrain from developing nuclear weapons, the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, said tonight.

Mr Straw spoke after three hours of talks in Geneva involving his German and French counterparts, the EU foreign policy chief, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/yougoslavia/2001/11/17/21224.html ' target=_blank>Javier Solana, and a delegation of Iranian negotiators.

Tehran had agreed to the talks in an attempting to alleviate the gathering crisis between Iran and the US over the Middle Eastern state's nuclear plans.

Tensions increased last week after Iran said it was considering restarting its &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2005/05/12/59731.html ' target=_blank>uranium-enrichment programme, which it insists is only aimed at generating electricity as permitted under a non-proliferation treaty. The EU and the United States, however, fear the programme is being used to develop nuclear weapons, publishes the Guardian Unlimited.

Iran is ``committed to our undertaking under the non- proliferation treaty, and concurrent with that we demand all the rights applicable to all member states,'' Rouhani said. ``We can reach a final agreement within a reasonably short time,'' he said, adding that Iran will consider the European proposals when they are made.

Iran expects its electricity consumption to double to 60,000 megawatts in the next two decades. The nation paid Russia as much as $1 billion to build a nuclear reactor in the southern city of Bushehr to meet the demand for power.

The U.S. administration last week expressed skepticism that Iran would ever abandon its nuclear weapons programs and said that, should Iran resume enrichment, the U.S. and the EU-3 would seek sanctions by recommending the International Atomic Energy Agency refer Iran's nuclear program to the UN Security Council.

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