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Iranian Deputy FM: Iran Won't Ship Out Nuclear Materials

An Iranian official says Tehran will not transfer its nuclear material out of the country, rejecting a demand of world powers as the two sides prepare to resume talks on resolving the Iranian nuclear dispute.

In a report broadcast on Sunday, Iranian state television quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as saying the removal of nuclear material from Iran is a "red line."

Iran is set to discuss its nuclear program with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany in Geneva on Tuesday.

The nuclear talks will be the first since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office in August, promising to lead a diplomatic effort to ease Western sanctions on his country.

His predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, defied U.N. Security Council demands to suspend Iran's uranium enrichment program, which Western powers believe is aimed at making nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

In his comments on state television, Iran's deputy foreign minister promised that Tehran "will negotiate" about its "level" of uranium enrichment.

In previous rounds of negotiations, world powers called for Iran to give up its existing stockpile of uranium enriched to 20-percent purity and send it abroad. Uranium of that purity is a short technical step away from being converted to weapons-grade material.

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