EU cautious on mooted Russia-Iran nuclear deal

27th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 February 2006, BRUSSELS - European Union foreign ministers Monday were cautious about reports of a nuclear deal between Russia and Iran, saying they needed more details of the agreement.

27 February 2006

BRUSSELS - European Union foreign ministers Monday were cautious about reports of a nuclear deal between Russia and Iran, saying they needed more details of the agreement.

"All reports we have...are from Iranian sources, we have to wait and see what's behind it and what the Russians will say about the talks," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The German minister is in Brussels for a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana also called for caution in reacting to the agreement. "We have to be careful in dealing with the information we have so far as negotiations are still ongoing," Solana told reporters.

"So far we don't have a confirmation about their outcome from the Russian side," Solana said.

EU External Relations Commission said the bloc would "wait and see the facts" before responding.

"We have heard very different comments from the Iranians and the Russians," she said.

Reports from Tehran on Sunday said that Iran and Russia had agreed "in principle" on a technical-political package for solving the dispute over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

The head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear power agency Sergei Kiriyenko and his Iranian counterpart Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh proclaimed the agreement on the technical-political package in a joint press conference in the Persian Gulf port Bushehr in southern Iran.

"The package is considered by Iran and Russia as a suitable option (to settle the nuclear dispute) on which both sides have a basic agreement," Aqazadeh said.

Tehran and Moscow seem to have dropped the initial plan for just the enrichment process in Russia and worked out a more broad-based plan.

Observers believe that the package is a counterproposal by Iran with the backing of Russia to persuade the West not to refer the Iranian nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council.

The package is expected to include both the Russian plan for enrichment of Iranian uranium on Russian territory as well as concessions on acknowledgment of enrichment inside Iran.

DPA

Subject: German news

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