Iran Nuclear NewsGerman chancellor wants more concessions for Iran

German chancellor wants more concessions for Iran

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Reuters: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Sunday the European Union should put forward new proposals to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program after a hard-liner was elected president of the Islamic Republic. The EU’s “big three” — Britain, France and Germany — are negotiating with Iran in the name of the 25-nation bloc for a halt to Iran’s nuclear program that they, along with the United States, suspect is a front for making atomic weapons. Reuters

WASHINGTON – German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Sunday the European Union should put forward new proposals to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program after a hard-liner was elected president of the Islamic Republic.

The EU’s “big three” — Britain, France and Germany — are negotiating with Iran in the name of the 25-nation bloc for a halt to Iran’s nuclear program that they, along with the United States, suspect is a front for making atomic weapons.

Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, insists the program is to meet soaring demand for electricity.

“The Europeans are well advised to put an offer on the table to move things forward for the next round of negotiations,” Schroeder told reporters traveling with him on a visit to Washington. The EU has offered Iran incentives to give up parts of its nuclear program that could used to develop weapons.

“We cannot bar them from civilian use of nuclear energy, but we need credible guarantees that they do not build atomic bombs,” he said.

His comments came after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected Iran’s new president on Friday. Ahmadinejad said he would press ahead with Iran’s nuclear program but would not abandon talks with the EU, although negotiations would be based on the Islamic Republic’s “national interest.”

Washington wants Iran referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program, saying Iran has persistently tried to cover up its activities and mislead the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

When asked about the possibility of sanctions, Schroeder referred to the high price of oil and said, “When we think about sanctions, it should be sanctions that do not hurt us more than the Iranians.”

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