France: Europe-Iran talks cancelled

European powers have called off talks with Iran on proposed incentives to persuade Tehran to give up nuclear activities leading to possible atomic weapons.

    The EU and Iran's relations are strained over the nuclear issue

    French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said on Tuesday that talks scheduled for 31 August would not go ahead because Iran had resumed nuclear work in breach of a promise to freeze it while talks lasted.
       
    "There will, in fact, be no negotiations meeting on 31 August since the Iranians have decided to suspend application of the Paris Agreement," Mattei told a news briefing.
       
    "So by common accord between the three European nations it is clear that there will be no negotiations meeting ... as long as the Iranians remain outside the Paris Agreement."
       
    Iran pledged in Paris last year to suspend uranium enrichment-related activities during talks with Britain, France and Germany on Iran's disputed nuclear programme.
       
    Economic incentives

    "There will, in fact, be no negotiations meeting on 31 August since the Iranians have decided to suspend application of the Paris Agreement"

    Jean-Baptiste Mattei,
    French Foreign Ministry spokesman

    This month, the three offered economic, technical and political measures for a permanent suspension of Iranian efforts to make its own nuclear fuel. Iran rejected the deal.
       
    The European Union and the United States suspect Iran of secretly trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran says it wants nuclear technology to generate electricity, not to make nuclear bombs.
       
    The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, has called on Iran to halt sensitive atomic work, and its head Mohamed ElBaradei is to report on Iran's activities on 3 September.
       
    If Iran continues to defy international pressure, Europe and the United States are likely to press the IAEA to refer Iran's
    case to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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