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EU Expresses Desire for Negotiated Settlement to Iran Nuclear Standoff


The European Union's foreign policy chief has told Iran that the international community wants a negotiated settlement to the standoff on Tehran's nuclear program.

An EU spokeswoman says Javier Solana made the remark in a telephone conversation Monday with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani.

Spokeswoman Cristina Gallach says Solana and Larijani agreed to stay in contact and speak again soon.

Also Monday, Russia and China said the nuclear dispute with Iran should be solved solely through peaceful means. Vladimir Putin of Russia and China's Hu Jintao urged Tehran to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions, which demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment.

Meanwhile, the White House said it is disappointed by Iran's decision to limit cooperation with the U.N. nuclear agency.

Iran said Sunday it would scale back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In other news, Atomstroiexport, the Russian company building Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, said Iran has resumed payments for the construction. Russia earlier this month complained that Iran was behind in its payments but Iran denied the charge.

New sanctions approved Saturday by the U.N. Security Council ban all Iranian arms exports and freeze the assets abroad of 28 Iranian people and institutions believed to have ties to nuclear weapons.

The new sanctions also set a 60-day deadline for Iran to stop enriching uranium. Failure to comply could result in more sanctions.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the charge.