Iran Nuclear NewsEU 'deplores' Iran's pursuit of nuclear program, seeks talks

EU ‘deplores’ Iran’s pursuit of nuclear program, seeks talks

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Bloomberg: European Union governments deplored Iran’s pursuit of nuclear enrichment and repeated an offer of economic incentives aimed at persuading the Islamic republic not to seek a weapons program. By James G. Neuger

June 18 (Bloomberg) — European Union governments deplored Iran’s pursuit of nuclear enrichment and repeated an offer of economic incentives aimed at persuading the Islamic republic not to seek a weapons program.

The EU “deplores the fact that Iran has still not complied with its international obligations,” EU foreign ministers said in a statement after a meeting in Luxembourg today. Continued enrichment and refusal to cooperate with United Nations nuclear inspectors have sown “further doubts as to the exclusively peaceful nature of its program.”

Debate over new UN sanctions is under way after Iran ignored last month’s deadline to halt enrichment, which can be used for civilian power plants as well as weapons.

The EU urged Iran to return to the bargaining table with foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who has held two rounds of exploratory talks this year with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani.

The 27-nation bloc “strongly urges Iran to engage constructively in these consultations and to create the necessary conditions for negotiations to resume,” the statement said.

The EU is offering to increase two-way trade if Iran provides proof that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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