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Iran Nuclear Negotiators to Hold Talks With EU's Solana in Rome


Iran's new nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and his predecessor, Ali Larijani, are to meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Rome Tuesday to discuss Iran's nuclear program.

Larijani resigned as top nuclear negotiator Saturday. But he remains a member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council as a representative of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all policy matters.

In another development, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cut short his two-day visit to Armenia to return home Tuesday.

An Armenian presidential spokesman, Viktor Sogomonian, said Mr. Ahmadinejad's move was prompted by "unexpected developments in Iran." He did not elaborate.

The Armenian government said the Iranian president Tuesday had been scheduled to visit a memorial to the victims of what Armenians consider to be genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turkey in the early 20th century.

An advisor to Mr. Ahmadinejad denied the visit to Yerevan had been cut short.

Separately, Iran has criticized France for pushing for European Union sanctions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

The United States and other Western countries accuse Iran of secretly trying to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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