Major powers discuss Iran nuclear programme

Barack ObamaWiesbaden, Germany - Representatives of six major powers met Wednesday to discuss how they could resolve the stand-off with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

The meeting of China, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States is the first on the subject since the administration of US President Barack Obama took office last month.

A German foreign ministry spokesman said the talks in the city of Wiesbaden were intended to demonstrate the unity of the six powers in their approach to Iran.

The United States, Britain and France believe Tehran's uranium enrichment programme is geared to making nuclear weapons. But Iran says it is designed to generate power for homes and factories.

At the start of the talks, delegates welcomed remarks made by Obama in his inauguration speech stating that the United States was ready to enter into dialogue with Iran.

Obama said the United States was ready to reach out a hand to Iran, provided that Tehran unclenched its fist.

The United Nations has imposed sanctions against Iran, but has offered economic incentives if it stops enriching uranium.

The talks in Wiesbaden come one day after Tehran announced that it had launched its first domestically produced satellite, called Omid, or hope.

Iran said the satellite, sent aloft atop a Safir-2 rocket, was meant for research and telecommunications, but countries in the West voiced fears it could lead to Tehran developing ballistic missiles. (dpa)

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