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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sanctions May Anger 'Lion,' Iran Says

BERLIN -- Iran's president warned the UN Security Council on Tuesday against imposing more sanctions, saying it was like "playing with a lion's tale," as its chief negotiator met Germany's foreign minister to discuss Iran's disputed nuclear program.

"They should be aware that Iran is a big country. Some say Iran is like a lion sitting calmly in the corner. We advise them not to play with a lion's tail," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a news conference with visiting foreign journalists.

The talks in Berlin between Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier were taking place in the first part of the day.

The meeting follows last week's talks in Madrid between Larijani and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, which produced no breakthrough on Tehran's core dispute with the West: its refusal to suspend nuclear enrichment as a precondition for negotiations on trade benefits.

It also comes on the eve of a Group of Eight summit in the German resort of Heiligendamm, where the Iranian nuclear program will be discussed, among other issues

Originally it was Larijani's deputy Javad Vaeedi who was to meet the political directors for Germany and the EU.

One diplomat close to the Iran-EU discussions said Vaeedi was planning to warn them against a crackdown on Tehran over its nuclear program at this week's G8 summit.

Another diplomat close to the German foreign ministry said the Iranians had decided to upgrade the meeting to a ministerial level, most likely to send a stronger message.