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EU Big Three Offered Iran Carrot for Nuclear

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:35 pm    Post subject: EU Big Three Offered Iran Carrot for Nuclear Reply with quote

EU Big Three Offered Iran Carrot for Nuclear

September 19, 2003
Paul Taylor and Louis Charbonneau

Britain, Germany and France defied the United States last month by offering Iran the prospect of sharing technology if it stops its disputed nuclear fuel enrichment program and accepts tougher U.N. inspections.

Western diplomats told Reuters a joint letter by the big three European foreign ministers, the content of which has not previously been disclosed, was delivered to Tehran in early August despite intense lobbying by Washington.

It highlighted a gulf between the administration of President Bush and even its closest European ally, Britain, on whether to engage or isolate the Islamic republic.

The Europeans urged Iran to sign, implement and ratify the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that provides for intrusive, short-notice inspections and to halt its uranium enrichment program, which the West fears could be at the heart of a clandestine nuclear arms program.

In return for compliance, the letter raised the prospect of cooperation on technology, without specifically pledging help with a civilian nuclear energy program, the sources said.

"Washington did not consider it very helpful at all. They were worried it ran the risk of splitting Europe and America on this issue, and they talked to their friends and colleagues in Europe about that and attempted to dissuade them from sending the letter," a diplomat familiar with the exchanges said.

European diplomats said they were disappointed there had not been a more specific reply from Tehran so far.


In Tehran, a leading cleric said on Friday Iran should consider quitting the NPT after the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog -- the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- set an October 31 deadline for Iran to prove it is not seeking atomic weapons.

"What is wrong with considering this treaty on nuclear energy and pulling out of it? North Korea pulled out of it and many countries have never entered it," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told worshippers at Friday prayers at Tehran University.

Jannati, head of the powerful supervisory body the Guardian Council, also said the Additional Protocol "would impose an extraordinary humiliation on us and we should never accept it."

Conservatives regard international inspections of the nuclear program as tantamount to allowing spies into Iran -- which says its nuclear program is purely to meet booming demand for electricity.

The reformist government of President Mohammad Khatami has however said it will continue to negotiate with the IAEA and will not pull out of the NPT.

On August 18, Khatami wrote a general letter to European leaders, including EU president Italy, pledging that Iran would never divert its civilian nuclear program for military purposes and had decided to enter immediate talks on the Additional Protocol.

But that message, seen by Reuters, did not commit Iran to sign or ratify the protocol, and European diplomats question whether Khatami, locked in a power struggle with hardline clerics, has effective control over the nuclear program.


Since the Europeans' letter was sent, growing attention at the IAEA has focused on the need to know more about Iran's past nuclear activities as well as to enforce intrusive spot checks in future, diplomats said.

The IAEA gave Tehran an ultimatum last week to prove by October 31 it has no secret weapons program or be reported to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

But a diplomat from one of the European states stressed that the joint British, French and German initiative remained valid.

"The offer still stands," he said.

There was no immediate public reaction by Russia to the European offer to Iran, but earlier on Friday Moscow said its nuclear cooperation talks with Iran that have angered Washington could take a long time to finalize.

The talks are about a bilateral deal that, once signed, will clear the way for shipments of Russian nuclear fuel to Iran to bring on stream its 1,000-megawatt Bushehr power plant.

Washington says the Bushehr project masks secret Iranian plans to develop an atomic bomb. Moscow says there is no proof of Washington's suspicions.

But, speaking to reporters, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev indicated there would be no quick deal with Iran, saying: "Our talks could last a long time."

He denied pointedly that Russia was backpedalling on the deal to please the United States.

But his comments, following months of pressure from Washington to abandon the $800-million Bushehr project, will help soothe a major irritant before presidents Vladimir Putin and Bush meet at Camp David on September 26 and 27.

(Additional reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov in Moscow and Parinoosh Arami in Tehran)

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There can only be ONE Iran, a FREE one.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The EU does not care of the crimes committed by the Islamic Mafia against the noble iranian people..for that,my opinion is that it will break the relationships only when it sees the regime is ready to launch a nuclear attack on Europe..which is impossible,because the regime sees europe as a friend...
Referendum AFTER Regime Change

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