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Italy, Russia discuss Iranian nuclear issue
Updated: 2006-02-08 10:08

Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini and his Russian counterpart Serghei Lavrov expressed concern over the Iranian nuclear standoff on Tuesday in Rome, stressing that diplomacy was the best way out of the crisis.

"The situation is very, very difficult," they told reporters after talks in Rome.

"We must pursue diplomatic efforts if we want to be absolutely certain that Tehran wants to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes," Fini said.

"Iran must understand that Iran's word is no longer enough for the international community," Fini added. "They have to present proof."

On Monday, Iran said inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would visit the country soon to oversee the resumption of uranium enrichment.

Iran decided to go ahead with enrichment, which it had suspended for over two years, after the board of governors of the IAEA voted on Saturday to report it to the United Nations Security Council.

It insists that its enrichment program is only for use in nuclear power reactors and will not be used for atomic weapons.

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