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Arab Nations Plan Iran Nuke Talks

Arab Gulf nations are planning to send a delegation to Iran to discuss its nuclear standoff with the United Nations, the German foreign minister said Sunday after talks with Kuwaiti leaders.

Such a delegation would be the first major diplomatic foray by Gulf nations in the confrontation.

CountryWatch: Iran

The Arab nations on the Gulf have expressed quiet concerns about Iran's nuclear program, but have kept a low profile in the standoff, worried about angering their powerful neighbor and that any anti-Iranian position would alienate their populations and be seen as siding with non-Muslims against the Islamic republic.

There was no immediate confirmation of the plan by Arab officials, but German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the Gulf Cooperation Council — a regional organization of Gulf Arab nations — would send a delegation to negotiate with Tehran.

"The Gulf Corporation Council is starting its own diplomatic initiative in order to reopen the channels to a diplomatic solution," Steinmeier told reporters after talks with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheik Mohammed Al Sabah.

Steinmeier gave no further details.

Germany, along with France and Britain, has led European efforts to defuse a diplomatic standoff over Iran's nuclear program.