Saturday, October 02, 2004

Description of Selected News

Description of Selected News: "

EU urges Bush to adopt Kerry line on Iran


WASHINGTON (Financial times)-- European governments are lobbying the Bush administration to change course over Iran before next month's presidential election, urging Washington to adopt an incentive-driven policy that Senator John Kerry has already pledged, according to diplomats and U.S. politicians.

According to unnamed diplomats and a Kerry adviser, senior officials from Germany and the Netherlands - which currently holds the European Union presidency - had high-level meetings on Iran with both the White House and the Kerry camp in recent days. "The European message was that we cannot let weeks pass before the next deadline without doing something," one diplomat said. "We need a last-ditch approach, not more pressure, but a mix with a package and incentives."

Several sources said the White House officials responded with considerable scepticism to the European initiative, but did not reject it outright. The White House on Friday declined to comment.

The deadline in question is the next board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in late November. The U.S. says it will press again for a resolution to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council as a first step toward condemnation and sanctions.

The European proposal would offer Iran guaranteed and closely monitored supplies of nuclear fuel for its civilian reactors in exchange for an end to Iran's development of the full fuel cycle - specifically the enrichment of uranium that can be used to make nuclear weapons. But senior Iranian officials have told the Financial Times that this is not acceptable. Diplomats believe the issue is still negotiable with more flexibility from the U.S.

Kerry and the Europeans also agree on the need for the U.S. to engage Iran directly."

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