Iran nuclear talks set for Wednesday

Britain, France and Germany are due to hold fresh talks with Iran on Wednesday on its nuclear programme despite the row over its president's denial of the Holocaust, an EU official confirmed on Monday.

"The talks about the talks on the nuclear issue are happening discreetly at the political directors' level in Vienna on Wednesday," Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said.

She said EU governments would call in Iran's envoys in the coming days to reaffirm to them Europe's condemnation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments, adding that Solana had already spoken to Iranian officials in Brussels on the matter.

Separately, an EU diplomat characterised Wednesday's meeting as "exploratory talks" and said the outcome would be a decision on whether or not to meet again in January.

"Both sides will be sizing each other up after everything that has happened in the last few months," said the diplomat, who requested anonymity.

Ahmadinejad last week called the Holocaust a myth and suggested Israel be moved to Germany or Alaska, remarks that sparked international uproar and threaten diplomatic talks with Europe over Iran's nuclear programme.

Iran rejects widespread suspicions that it wants nuclear bombs, insisting its nuclear programme is simply for generating electricity.

The EU diplomat said the EU3 would reiterate statements about the importance of Iran suspending their use of sensitive nuclear energy, Reuters reports.


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