EU states offer 'last-chance' dealon Iran's nuclear program

21st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 October 2004 , VIENNA/TEHERAN - The European Union's Big Three - Germany, France, and Britain - presented new proposals to Iran Thursday to end its uranium enrichment programmes once and for all. The suggestions, described as a "last-chance offer", were handed over at the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna to a Teheran delegation by representatives from Berlin, Paris and London. Meanwhile, the United States made clear its opposition to the suggested package which includes the poss

21 October 2004 

VIENNA/TEHERAN - The European Union's Big Three - Germany, France, and Britain - presented new proposals to Iran Thursday to end its uranium enrichment programmes once and for all.

The suggestions, described as a "last-chance offer", were handed over at the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna to a Teheran delegation by representatives from Berlin, Paris and London.

Meanwhile, the United States made clear its opposition to the suggested package which includes the possible delivery of a light water nuclear reactor as well as access to nuclear fuel.

Under the proposed deal, Teheran is to abolish its uranium enrichment programme which can be used to produce nuclear energy as well as weapons-grade uranium.

Teheran, which has always insisted its nuclear technology was strictly peaceful, on Thursday offered a set of counter-proposals to the Big Three delegates.

Under the terms of their proposals, Iran would pledge to the international community to refrain from any military nuclear projects.

The West would be invited to participate in Iran's nuclear programmes and Iran's uranium imports would be monitored by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Nuclear Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Sources in Vienna said Thursday Teheran was unlikely to respond to the European suggestions before the scheduled US presidential elections on 2 November.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday night Washington had not supported the proposal by the EU Big Three.

The US was "concerned about Iran acquiring new technologies and capabilities in the nuclear area", he said, adding: "We don't see the economic or any other rationale for a country like Iran to try to generate power with nuclear energy."

Washington has already requested months ago that dispute over Iran's nuclear programme should be transferred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions against Teheran.

The IAEA council last month demanded that Iran clarify all open questions about its nuclear programme and stop uranium enrichment. If Teheran does not cooperate by 25 November the IAEA would refer the matter to the Security Council.

Iranian President Mohammed Khatami on Wednesday stressed again the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities and called on the IAEA not to let the issue be politicized.

DPA

Subject: German news

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