Sunday, July 17, 2005

EU May be Ready to Help Iran Build Nuclear Reactors

Agence France-Presse, Baku Today:
European nations negotiating with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme may be ready to help build nuclear reactors and supply them with fuel, Iranian negotiator Hossein Moussavian said. READ MORE

He told the official IRNA agency that a proposal promised by Britain, France and Germany by August and aimed at resolving the crisis could include such an offer, as well as a several-month delay before Iran's nuclear ambitions are referred to the UN Security Council.

The EU proposal could make or break the lengthy diplomatic process aimed at easing widespread fears Iran is seeking nuclear weapons technology.

In contrast to the United States which suspects Tehran of wanting to build nuclear bombs, the EU-3 is seeking to engage the Islamic state, using a carrot of possible trade and other benefits to persuade it to curb its nuclear plans.

However, the official IRNA agency quoted Moussavian as saying that Iran could resume sensitive uranium enrichment activities if the EU-3 insisted on prolonging a voluntary enrichment suspension currently in effect.

"We will continue negotiations because we are very close to a solution," he said.

"But continuing the suspension under current conditions is not possible, and if the Europeans don't accept this, we will resume (uranium enrichment) activities at Isfahan," a nuclear plant in central Iran, he warned.

Washington accuses Tehran of using a civilian atomic energy programme as a cover for weapons development and seeks a permanent halt to uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing activities that could be used in an arms programme.

Iran denies the charge and says it has the right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the peaceful use of nuclear technology, including making atomic fuel.