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US to raise concerns on nuclear issue at talks with Iran

THE US delegation will raise its concerns on Iran's new nuclear facility at multilateral talks with Tehran on Thursday in Geneva, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said yesterday.

The Iranian government admitted on Monday last week the existence of a second uranium enrichment facility near the city of Qom, about 160 kilometers southwest of Tehran.

"What is undeniable is that a plant was constructed in violation of their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, something they've signed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as UN Security Council resolutions," the spokesman told reporters.

"I think the onus is on the Iranians to show the world that the program that they have is a peaceful program to create energy, rather than a secret program for nuclear weapons," said Gibbs, adding that the United States will demand IAEA to access to the facility for inspecting.

Senior diplomats from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany will meet with Iran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili on Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Obama administration expects the talks would focus on Iran's nuclear issue, but Tehran insists that they would talk only about "international cooperation and resolving global economic and security problems."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that processing peaceful nuclear technology is Iran's "legal and definitive right, and it will not hold discussions about its undeniable rights."

Following a series of short-range missile tests, Iran on Monday test-fired the long-range Shahab-3 missile and the surface-to-surface Sajil missile, both reportedly are capable of hitting objectives in Israel, most Arab countries and southern Europe.


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