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TALK PUSH OVER IRAN.

Byline: By STEPHANIE BUSARI

URGENT talks are to be held over the mounting crisis of Iran's nuclear programme.

Senior officials from Europe, the US, Russia and China spent yesterday locked in discussion at the Foreign Office in London to find common ground.

They are calling for the UN's nuclear watchdog to stage a crunch meeting on February 2.

And they want the board to refer Iran to the Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

World powers fear Iran aims to build nuclear weapons, but Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has issued staunch denial. He claims they are building civilian nuclear power.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for a swift referral to the UN Security Council. But both Russia and China urged restraint, cautioning against any escalation of the crisis.

And Foreign Secretary Jack Straw yesterday stressed there should be no scramble to impose sanctions. Mr Straw said: "I don't think we should rush our fences here. There are plenty of examples where a matter is referred to the Security Council and it takes action that is followed without the need for decisions on sanctions."

Meanwhile, American TV news network CNN has been banned from working in Iran after a mistranslation of President Ahmadinejad's words.

CNN apologised for transcribing "nuclear technology" as "nuclear weapons".

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 17, 2006
Words:218
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