Major powers meet for Iran's nuke snub



Representatives of the five permanent UN Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany met behind closed doors as part of their goal of persuading Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Officials declined to say whether the six would respond to Tehran's move, with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana's spokeswoman saying only that "the meeting is to review the latest developments on the Iran nuclear issue."

Many in the West suspect that the Islamic republic is covertly trying to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran insists it is only developing a civil energy programme, and has rejected attempts to force it to stop uranium enrichment.

In an attempt to draw Iran into talks and guarantee that its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, the six have offered to reprocess some of its low-enriched uranium abroad.
But on Wednesday, Iran rejected those plans, involving more than 70 per cent of its stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad, brokered by the UN atomic watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The LEU would have been converted into nuclear fuel and returned to Iran to power a research reactor in Tehran. Very highly refined uranium can be used to fuel an atomic bomb.

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