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German Chancellor: Pressure Still on Iran to Stop Enriching Uranium


German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Iran still must be pressured to stop enriching uranium, despite a recent U.S. intelligence report that said Tehran halted a secret nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Ms. Merkel said Tuesday, that talk of new U.N. sanctions against Iran has slowed down since the U.S. report was issued early last month. But she said Iran should not consider that an all-clear signal.

World powers are planning to meet next week in Berlin to discuss possible further sanctions against Iran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment - a process that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Diplomats say the meeting will involve foreign ministers from Germany and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members - the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China.

The Security Council has imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran for its failure to suspend uranium enrichment.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of developing nuclear technology to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge and says its nuclear program is peaceful.

The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate released last month also said Iran has the capability to restart its nuclear weapons program. The report said Iran likely would be capable of producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon roughly between 2010 and 2015.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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