Iran accepts EU demand for halt on enrichment

6th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 June 2005, TEHRAN - Iran has officially accepted the demand by the European Union to suspend uranium enrichment until the end of July, the news service Mehr reported on Sunday.

6 June 2005

TEHRAN - Iran has officially accepted the demand by the European Union to suspend uranium enrichment until the end of July, the news service Mehr reported on Sunday.

The deputy of the National Security Council and spokesman of the Iranian nuclear delegation, Hussein Mussavian, told Mehr that all sides would do their best to settle the nuclear dispute by then.

Mussavian had met the ambassadors of the EU trio Britain, France and Germany in Tehran on Thursday to submit the Iranian approval, according to the report.

In a meeting last month in Geneva, the foreign ministers of the EU trio had demanded that Iran should keep its enrichment suspended until the end of July or the beginning of August.

In return the EU trio promised to come up with a comprehensive plan to settle the row over Tehran's controversial programme.

Mussavian stressed that the new EU plan should included an acknowledgement of Iran's legitimate right to pursue peaceful nuclear activities.

Iran insists on resuming uranium enrichment for nuclear fuel but the EU and the United States have so far opposed the enrichment process which is also usable for the production of atom bombs.

One of the options to get out of the current dilemma could be Iran's proposal to transfer the enriched uranium from Isfahan to Russia where it would be pumped into Russian centrifuges and returned to Iran.

Iran says that this process could guarantee that the level of enriched uranium could solely be used for the country's fuel cycle and not misused for military purposes.

The EU has not clearly replied to the Iranian proposal. However, the United States has rejected it, saying Iran did not need more nuclear fuel as Russia would be supplying fuel for the joint nuclear power plant in Bushehr in the Persian Gulf between 2006 and 2016.

The EU hopes for a breakthrough in August following the elections of a new president and administration in Iran.

The pragmatic Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who is tipped to win the 17 June presidential elections, has already signalled that he would favour "more patience" in the diplomatic efforts as opposed to "hasty decisions".

If the talks with the EU fail, the case could be brought in front of the United Nations Security Council where the Islamic state would face further sanctions and political isolation.

Tehran could also face US military strikes which, American officials have pointed out several times, were not ruled out by the US administration.

DPA

Subject: German news

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