Iran and EU Resume Nuclear Talks in Germany

Negotiators for Iran and the European Union resumed talks over a Tehran's disputed nuclear program on Thursday, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said.

Solana and chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani broke off talks, which are being hosted by the German Foreign Ministry on the outskirts of Berlin, late Wednesday after five hours of discussions. They reconvened Thursday, Solana spokeswoman Cristina Gallach told reporters.

CountryWatch: Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Solana on Wednesday and renewed U.S. support for his talks with Iran, she told reporters in Washington, D.C.

Solana and Larijani are holding the latest round of talks over a package of incentives that six countries -- the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany -- are offering Tehran in return for suspending its uranium enrichment program and returning to full-scale negotiations.

Iran missed an Aug. 31 Security Council deadline over the issue. The six are considering seeking sanctions in the U.N. Security Council if Tehran does not comply.

Rice said if Larijani agreed to a suspension of processing uranium "we would be on a course for negotiations."

But, Rice told reporters, she had told Solana "clearly this won't go on very much longer."

"I did wish Solana well, and we are all awaiting the outcome of these discussions," she said.

Solana will report back to the six countries trying to persuade Iran to give up its program to enrich uranium, he said, "and then it will be decided together if there are conditions for a return to the negotiating table."

Germany has joined with the permanent U.N. Security Council members in pressing Iran to give up what the U.S. says is a nuclear weapons program. Iran says its program is peaceful.

Enriched uranium can be used for power plants or for weapons, depending on the level of enrichment.