Iran Nuclear NewsIran uranium enrichment would lead to end of EU...

Iran uranium enrichment would lead to end of EU talks: Germany

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AFP: A resumption of Iran’s uranium enrichment activities would lead to an end of its nuclear talks with the European Union, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Monday. “This would lead to a collapse of the talks,” Fischer told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on non-proliferation at the United Nations in New York.
AFP

UNITED NATIONS – A resumption of Iran’s uranium enrichment activities would lead to an end of its nuclear talks with the European Union, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Monday.

“This would lead to a collapse of the talks,” Fischer told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on non-proliferation at the United Nations in New York.

“It is the foundation of the talks that the uranium enrichment remains suspended,” Fischer said.

Iran is unhappy with the progress of the talks and may resume uranium conversion activities in defiance of an agreed suspension of such nuclear fuel cycle work, top negotiator Hassan Rowhani said in Tehran over the weekend.

“It is unlikely that we will resume enrichment, that is to say the activities at Natanz. But some activities at the UCF (Uranium Conversion Facility) at Isfahan could resume next week,” Rowhani was quoted as saying by the IRNA and Mehr news agencies.

“The current process cannot continue in the way the Europeans want it to, and Iran could take new decisions,” said Rowhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

Uranium conversion involves turning raw uranium into UF6 gas. That gas can be fed into centrifuges that refine out enriched uranium, which can be directed towards making fuel for atomic reactors or the core of a nuclear weapon.

Uranium conversion is covered by a freeze agreed to by Iran in November 2004 under a deal that kick-started a series of talks with Britain, France and Germany aimed at easing international fears that Tehran is seeking the bomb.

If Iran carries through its most serious challenge yet of the EU deal, it risks being hauled before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

The European Union, backed by the United States, wants Iran to halt all nuclear fuel cycle activities, fearing enrichment technology would give Iran the capacity to produce a bomb. In return, it is offering a package of trade, security and technology incentives.

But after the latest round of talks with the EU in London on Friday, top national security spokesman Ali Agha Mohammadi told AFP that Iran was “unhappy.”

“The negotiations were good on content and there were principled agreements, and the Europeans were closer than ever to our point of view,” said Mohammadi, a spokesman for the SNSC.

“But concerning the application and the timetable, Iran is unhappy with the results,” he said.

Iran has said repeatedly that its enrichment suspension is temporary and voluntary, as it insists on its right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to make nuclear fuel.

Mohammadi said the Iranian side feels that “the Europeans are merely trying to delay” a resumption of enrichment.

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