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Germany to host six-power talks on Iran this week

Germany will host high-level talks this week between the United States, China, France, Britain, Russia and Germany on Iran's nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

Germany will host high-level talks this week between the United States, China, France, Britain, Russia and Germany on Iran's nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The United States, Germany, France and Britain have threatened Iran with harsher U.N. sanctions if it carries on enriching uranium and refuses to clear up concerns that it has conducted extensive research into how to build a nuclear weapon.

Foreign ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner said the talks would be held at "senior civil servant level." He declined to give details of when or where they would take place, saying only that the venue would not be Berlin.

A U.N. Security Council diplomat, who asked for anonymity, said the talks would be held in the Frankfurt area on Wednesday.

An International Atomic Energy Agency report issued on Friday said Iran had failed to heed Security Council demands that it stop enriching uranium and cooperate with the agency's investigation "to exclude the possibility of military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program.

Russia and China reluctantly backed three rounds of sanctions against Iran's nuclear and missile industries since 2006, though they worked hard to water down the measures before agreeing to vote for them in the Security Council.

Moscow and Beijing, like the United States, Britain and France, are veto-wielding permanent council members and can strike down any resolution that reaches the 15-nation panel.

Iran says it is enriching uranium only for electricity generation. Western powers suspect Iran's declared civilian nuclear program is a facade for developing the capability to produce atomic bombs.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Robin Pomeroy)