US denies EU-US proposal on Iran nuclear issue
11 November 2005, WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department on Thursday denied a report that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice set a two-week deadline for Iran to agree to a new proposal on its nuclear programme.
11 November 2005
WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department on Thursday denied a report that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice set a two-week deadline for Iran to agree to a new proposal on its nuclear programme.
"The secretary does not conduct diplomacy by deadline," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said.
The New York Times reported Thursday, citing American and European officials, that the United States had worked out a proposal with Britain, France and Germany - known as the E.U.-3 - that would allow Iran to keep some nuclear activities but that any uranium enrichment work would be done in Russia.
Ereli denied there was an "U.S.-E.U. proposal" and said "there won't be a U.S.-E.U. proposal to the Iranians.
"There is a diplomatic effort under way, led by the E.U.-3, to have negotiations with Iran that would lead to ensuring that Iran is not in a position to develop nuclear weapons," he said. "That is a diplomatic process that we support, that we discuss with the E.U.-3, that we share ideas and listen to their ideas about."
The report said the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, would take the proposal to the Iranians. The report also said that during a meeting Tuesday, Rice set a two-week deadline for ElBaradei to reach an agreement with Teheran.
ElBaradei heads the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and has led inspections into Iran's nuclear programme. The United States accuses Iran of using its nuclear programme to develop weapons. Iran says it is purely for meeting energy needs.
The IAEA's governing board meets in two weeks to again take up the Iranian nuclear issue after passing a resolution in September.
Negotiations between Iran and the E.U.-3, have been stalled and the United States has stepped up pressure to refer the issue to the U.N. Security Council.
Subject: German news