EU-trio considering new nuclear talks with Iran
22 November 2005, VIENNA - The E.U. is considering the possibility of talks with Iran at the beginning of December to restart nuclear negotiations stalled in August, diplomatic sources in Vienna said Tuesday.
22 November 2005
VIENNA - The E.U. is considering the possibility of talks with Iran at the beginning of December to restart nuclear negotiations stalled in August, diplomatic sources in Vienna said Tuesday.
The talks could begin on December 6 in Vienna, seat of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the sources said, but a decision about the talks had not yet been made.
The E.U. negotiating trio of Britain, France and Germany broke off talks with Iran in August following a year of negotiations on a cooperation agreement after Tehran resumed uranium conversion at its nuclear facility in Isfahan.
Uranium conversion had been halted at the Isfahan plant since December 2004.
The preliminary talks were originally supposed to have already taken place last week in Moscow at Russia's suggestion.
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani had informed the E.U. two weeks ago by letter that Tehran was interested in resuming talks on a comprehensive cooperation agreement.
The Moscow talks were rejected by the so-called E.U. Trio as Tehran made the surprise move of restarting uranium conversion at Isfahan.
Iran's nuclear policies are again expected to top the agenda at an IEAE board meeting in Vienna on Thursday.
It was announced ahead of the Thursday meeting that the "Iran case" would provisionally not be referred to the U.N. Security Council as had previously been discussed "as long as the window for a diplomatic solution is open".
The delay in referring Iran to the Security Council was expected to give Russia's diplomatic initiative a chance to persuade Tehran not to continue with its uranium enrichment activities.
The Iranian parliament demanded Tuesday that its government suspend the so-called additional protocol to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty that permits the IAEA unannounced inspections of nuclear plants if the nuclear watchdog calls in the Security Council over what it termed Iran's many violations of the treaty.
Converting raw uranium ore, or yellowcake, to uranium hexafluoride gas is the first step in the uranium enrichment process.
The West wants to prevent Tehran from taking the step to enrichment as high-grade enriched uranium can be used to build atomic weapons.
The E.U. Trio proposed instead that Tehran be allowed to convert the uranium, but that the enrichment be completed in Russia.
Tehran has consistently stressed for years that its nuclear programme is intended solely for peaceful purposes.
Subject: German news