S Africa has plan to break Iran-EU deadlock: diplomats
Talks between top EU powers and Iran over Tehran’s suspect nuclear programme could resume soon, provided the Europeans are willing to discuss a South African compromise proposal, diplomats said on Wednesday.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Mohamed ElBaradei, in Moscow to attend a conference, said the West was having ‘‘a hiccup” with Iran presently, to resolve which “we need a third party to provide a face-saving solution”.
Several diplomats said the ‘‘face-saving solution’’ which ElBaradei was referring to was a South African proposal to provide Iran uranium which Tehran would convert into uranium gas at Isfahan before returning it to South Africa. READ MORE
South African officials were not immediately available for comment. However, a Western diplomat close to the IAEA said the proposal would be ‘‘face-saving’’ because the Iranians would be allowed to run the Isfahan plant, while the South Africans would be able to present themselves as the ones who rescued the talks and prevented the stand-off from escalating into an international crisis.“South Africa would be the hero,” one diplomat said.