Steinmeier to discuss Iran’s nuke plans with ElBaradei

Steinmeier to discuss Iran's nuke plans with ElBaradei
President Ahmadinejad admires Iran's Natanz plant. Photo:DPA
UN atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will hold talks this week in Berlin about Iran's nuclear programme.

“Apart from current international affairs they will discuss nuclear non-proliferation and the Iranian nuclear dossier,” the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Steinmeier will meet on Thursday on the sidelines of a two-day international conference in Berlin on nuclear fuel supply.

The meeting comes amid international concern over Iran’s announcement last week that it would install 6,000 more centrifuges at its Natanz uranium enrichment plant in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions pressing Tehran to freeze sensitive nuclear work.

Western governments warned Tehran that it faces further sanctions if it continues to expand its nuclear programme, which they fear is cover for a drive to develop an atomic weapon.

On Wednesday, envoys from the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU were due to meet in Shanghai to discuss efforts to resolve the international standoff. Tehran insists the programme is entirely peaceful and aimed at generating energy.