EU ambassadors delivernuclear proposal to Iran

5th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 August 2005, TEHRAN - Iran confirmed Friday receipt of a proposal by the European Union regarding its controversial nuclear programme. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told news network Khabar that the proposal will be evaluated within the next 48 hours by Iran's leaders and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and then a final decision will be announced. The spokesman did not disclose the contents of the proposal. Diplomatic sources in Tehran had said earlier Friday that the ambassad

5 August 2005

TEHRAN - Iran confirmed Friday receipt of a proposal by the European Union regarding its controversial nuclear programme.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told news network Khabar that the proposal will be evaluated within the next 48 hours by Iran's leaders and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and then a final decision will be announced.

The spokesman did not disclose the contents of the proposal.

Diplomatic sources in Tehran had said earlier Friday that the ambassadors of Britain, France and Germany conveyed the proposal by the European Union to the SNSC.

The proposal, including several trade and political incentives, is aimed at persuading Iran not to resume its uranium conversion at the plant in Isfahan, central Iran, the diplomats said.

The most important part of the proposal is the E.U. acknowledgement of peaceful nuclear activities by Iran under the condition that the fuel for the nuclear cycle is provided by the West and not produced by Iran itself.

Another significant point is making Iran the main provider for oil and gas export to Europe, both directly and as a transit route for oil and gas from Central Asia and the Persian Gulf states.

Iran has tried in recent years to be considered as the most suitable transit route for oil and gas supply to Europe, but faced opposition from the U.S.

Although even American companies acknowledge Iran as the most economical route, the U.S. administration has so far rejected the option due to political hostility between the two states.

The E.U. ambassadors have further told the 15-man Iranian delegation in Tehran that the proposals were "not definite but still negotiable and expandable" except for the demand that Iran not produce its own nuclear fuel, regardless of whether the process includes conversion or enrichment of uranium.

Iran says that the conversion process in the Isfahan uranium conversion plant is different from the enrichment process in Natanz - a plant for uranium enrichment also in central Iran - and stresses that the main aim is producing nuclear fuel for local plants.

The E.U., however, says that the same process could be used for producing atomic weapons.

In the meantime, a senior Iranian Ayatollah said at a Friday prayers ceremony in Tehran that Iran will go "to the limit" with its nuclear programme and is prepared for whatever international consequences follow.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said that the European Union should know that despite all threats "this country (Iran) would never ever make concessions on its legitimate right (of pursuing nuclear technology)".

"First we will start Isfahan and then Natanz," said Jannati, who is also head of the constitutional court-like Guardian Council.

The remarks by Jannati, front-runner of the Islamic hardline faction, came just a few hours after Iran confirmed receipt of the E.U. proposal.

The Ayatollah accused the E.U. of following a "deceiving, dishonest and arrogant approach" towards Iran and said that the Europeans were still not familiar with Iran's real mentality.

"The presidential elections have clearly shown the nature of the Iranian nation," he said, referring to the landslide victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who belongs to the ultra-Islamic Abadgaran party which also dominates the parliament.

The Ayatollah said that the administration of Ahmadinejad would "compensate" some of the mistakes made in the previous government of Mohammad Khatami. He did not further elaborate.

DPA

Subject: German news

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