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Iran Says Negotiations Key to Solving Nuclear Dispute

Iran says the only solution to its nuclear dispute with the West is negotiations, and not referral of its atomic energy program to the U.N. Security Council.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi made that assertion Sunday at his weekly news conference in Tehran. Asefi cautioned the West against acting in haste against Iran, saying a referral to the Security Council would solve nothing.

The Iranian spokesman's comments came as representatives of Britain, Germany, France, the United States and the European Union prepared for a meeting Monday in London to discuss whether to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

The Europeans say the impasse should be resolved through diplomacy, but Washington says a military option should be retained as a last resort.

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