Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Germany Raises Doubts on Iran Negotiations

Yahoo News:
Germany's foreign minister raised doubts Tuesday over the future of European-led negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, saying he planned to consult with his French and British colleagues on whether there is any basis for more talks.

Speaking after Iran removed seals on its nuclear research facilities, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tehran had "crossed lines which it knew would not remain without consequences." READ MORE

Steinmeier said he had asked the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, to quickly draw up an evaluation of "what threatens in terms of Iranian activities."

"On the basis of this evaluation, I will try this week to coordinate our position with my British and French colleagues — above all, of course, to see whether our negotiations of the EU 3 still have a basis."

Britain, France and Germany have been negotiating on behalf of the European Union to try to persuade Iran to give up parts of its nuclear program. The negotiations are meant to ease international concerns that Iran might be aiming to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its program is meant only for power generation.

The talks have been complicated recently by the Europeans' exasperation over a series of anti-Israeli outbursts by the Iranian president and have made little progress, but were set to continue later this month.

Iran said its actions Tuesday were to prepare for research into nuclear fuel technology only and that it was not resuming work to produce nuclear fuel.