Monday, October 25, 2004

Iran hints it may suspend some nuclear activities

Iran hints it may suspend some nuclear activities: "Iran hints it may suspend some nuclear activities

TEHRAN, OCTOBER 25: Iran indicated today, it may suspend some nuclear activities in a bid to reach a compromise with the Europeans, but it did not say which activities. Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, told state television the government was still considering its response to the offer made by Britain, Germany and France at last week’s meeting on the iranian nuclear programme.

‘‘We are trying to choose the best course of work,’’ he said. The United States believes Iran has a covert programme to produce nuclear weapons and has been lobbying for the international atomic energy agency to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

In an effort to avoid a confrontation, the European Union has offered Iran a package of incentives in return for its permanently giving up uranium enrichment.

Iran has repeatedly said it will never abandon enrichment, a technology that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors as well as bombs, but on Monday Rowhani suggested some flexibility in the negotiations with the Europeans.

‘‘Indefinite doesn’t mean permanent,’’ Rowhani said. ‘‘They (Europeans) called for indefinite suspension as long as talks are underway. They say, for instance, that if negotiations are to last 6 or 7 months, then Iran should not violate the suspension for that period.’’

He did not elaborate and it was not clear what Iran would suspend.

It is currently suspending the actual enrichment of uranium, but it is continuing with related activities, such as building nuclear centrifuges, that the International Atomic Energy Agency has asked it to stop."


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