Iran considers EU’s nuclear offer

Iran is considering a deal
offered by key EU nations that seeks to resolve
the stalemate over Tehran’s uranium enrichment
programme.

Britain, France and Germany have offered Iran a
last-chance deal under which Tehran would receive
valuable civilian nuclear technology on condition that it
indefinitely abandons parts of its nuclear programme that
could enable the Mideastern country to produce weapons.
Furthermore, the onus is on Iran to prove that it is not
trying to secretly develop such weapons. The EU-3 offer
threatens possible UN sanctions in case of Iran’s
non-compliance.

Iran claims to have a legal right to uranium
enrichment and insists that its nuclear programme is
peaceful. “We demand respect for our rights to have
nuclear technology for civilian use and that no-one tries
to deprive us of this,” said President Mohammad
Khatami. He added that “we are ready to co-operate
and believe that dialogue and negotiation are the only
ways to reach an understanding”.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has
spotted several contradictions in Tehran’s nuclear
declarations, and the United States remains convinced
that Iran continues to work on a secret nuclear
programme, despite the fact that it has not
found any ‘smoking gun’.

Washington has refused to comment on the EU-3’s
“constructive engagement” policy and said
it was interested only in whether Iran would meet its
obligations to the IAEA. At the same time, the US also
said that it would be “concerned” by Iran’s
acquisition of new nuclear technology. The UN agency is
scheduled to decide in Vienna on 25 November whether Iran
is co-operating or not. If there is no progress, the
issue will be transferred to the UN Security Council.

 

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