Sunday, January 29, 2006

German Foreign Min, IAEA Chief Meet on Iran Crisis

Dow Jones Newswires:
Germany's foreign minister met briefly with the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency Saturday to discuss the standoff with Iran over its suspect nuclear program. Neither Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier nor Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, would discuss details of the one-hour meeting in Vienna.

The meeting came ahead of Monday's gathering of envoys from Britain, France, Germany and the European Union to review the Iranian crisis before the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors meets next Thursday to debate whether to report Tehran in defiance to the U.N. Security Council.

Earlier Saturday, ElBaradei also met with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on the standoff with Iran, which has vowed to resume enrichment of uranium. The process can be used to produce fuel for reactors to generate electricity, but also can produce nuclear fuel for a warhead.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful; the U.S. has accused it of covertly trying to make an atomic weapon.

The Vienna-based IAEA confirmed the meeting between ElBaradei and Steinmeier had taken place Saturday afternoon but declined to elaborate, saying only that ElBaradei's session with Straw was "very good." READ MORE