Iran seeks nuclear deal with EU

Iranian President Muhammad Khatami has said Tehran hopes to strike a deal with the European Union on its peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    President Khatami said talks with EU negotiators were positive

    On a visit to Vienna, Khatami said Iran and the EU were working "to find a solution to the right of our land for the peaceful development of nuclear energy and also to overcome the worries of our European colleagues".

    The Iranian president said his country opposed, as other nations do, "the gross misuse of nuclear technology, which is the development of fearsome atomic weapons".
     
    But he said even oil-rich Iran needed peaceful nuclear technology.

    Iran "does not want anything other than what law and the international community agree to", Khatami said.

    Negotiations

    Iran has been negotiating since December with Britain, France and Germany to win trade, security and technology rewards in return for giving guarantees that it is not trying to develop nuclear weapons.

    The talks are deadlocked over Iran's refusal to abandon uranium enrichment, the key process which makes fuel for civilian reactors but also what can be the explosive core of atom bombs.

    The EU is currently considering, ahead of a meeting next week with Iranian negotiators in Geneva, a proposal by Tehran to allow it to produce enriched uranium on a small scale. 

    Iranian proposal
      
    Iran made the written proposal to be allowed to run a pilot centrifuge enrichment project at a meeting in Paris in March with the three EU negotiating states.
      
    But European diplomats say their position is still that Iran must abandon all enrichment activities.
      
    A Western diplomat said the US would only back the EU initiative, as it currently does, if Europe maintained its demand for a permanent cessation of enrichment.
     
    Otherwise, Washington will seek to take Iran before the UN Security Council, where it could face possible economic and other sanctions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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