Tuesday, January 25, 2005

EU, Iran Nuclear Talks Deadlocked

The Associated Press:
Confidential talks between key European powers and Iran are deadlocked on the key issue of uranium enrichment, with Tehran refusing to consider scrapping such programs and banish fears it wants to make atomic arms, according to a summary of the last meeting made available Tuesday to The Associated Press.

The summary of the last meeting on the issue involving representatives of France, Britain, Germany and Iran states that Tehran's position remains "the goal of maintaining" its enrichment program, while the European powers continue to insist on its "cessation" or "dismantlement." ...

"The two positions cannot coexist," said one of the diplomats, from a West European nation. "If the impasse cannot be resolved, then there will be no solution," clearing the path for Iran to resume work on activities that will allow it to enrich uranium, he said. ...

The summary of the last meeting suggests that at those talks, Iran privately acknowledged what Washington and its allies have argued all along - that as an oil rich country, it does not need nuclear energy.

"Iran recognizes explicitly that its fuel cycle program cannot be justified on economic grounds," the summary said.