Iran Nuclear NewsIran-EU3 nuclear talks near collapse

Iran-EU3 nuclear talks near collapse

-

Financial Times: Nearly two years of delicate negotiations between Iran and the European Union over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme could be on the point of collapse today, setting the scene for a confrontation at the United Nations. Senior Iranian officials told the Financial Times that talks with France, Germany and the UK – the EU3 – would be over if their latest proposed incentives did not give approval for Tehran to resume work at a key facility at Isfahan. Financial Times

By Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran and Guy Dinmore in Washington

Nearly two years of delicate negotiations between Iran and the European Union over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme could be on the point of collapse today, setting the scene for a confrontation at the United Nations.

Senior Iranian officials told the Financial Times that talks with France, Germany and the UK – the EU3 – would be over if their latest proposed incentives did not give approval for Tehran to resume work at a key facility at Isfahan.

Ambassadors of the EU3 are expected formally to deliver the package of proposed incentives to Tehran’s foreign ministry early today.

However, one senior official involved in the talks said: “According to our information the EU proposal does not include resumption of conversion activities in Isfahan.”

The official added: “This means the end of this round of talks with Europe. Iran has decided to resume activities in Isfahan and no one at home and abroad can stop it.”

A senior European diplomat in Tehran conceded that the “proposal is not the one Iranians want”.

Under the Paris agreement reached with the EU3 last year, Iran suspended nuclear fuel cycle activities that western governments suspect are part of a clandestine weapons programme.

The suspension agreed in Paris included processing work at Isfahan, where raw uranium is converted into uranium hexafluoride gas, and the next stage at Natanz, where the gas is enriched through centrifuges to provide nuclear fuel.

The EU3, backed by the US, have warned Iran that ending any part of the suspension would lead them to refer the issue to the UN Security Council.

The US drive for punitive action is being led by John Bolton, the new US ambassador to the UN, who failed to win confirmation by the Senate but was still appointed by President George W. Bush.

Some analysts and diplomats are sceptical about whether the Bush administration can win enough support for serious measures to be taken against Iran.

“The American case will be represented by a non-confirmed ambassador who has been accused of dis-torting intelligence on proliferation issues,” said Ray Takeyh, analyst at the independent US Council on Foreign Relations.

The EU3 are seeking an extraordinary board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on Monday. But diplomats do not rule out further talks with Iran.

One EU3 diplomat said the EU and the US were “on their way” to getting a majority on the IAEA board to take Iran to the Security Council, using the argument that Iran had deceived the UN watchdog for years over its nuclear programme and had been in breach of its safeguards commitments.

But Iranian officials have dismissed the implicit threat of sanctions against Tehran. “If they can afford skyrocketing oil prices, let them do so,” one senior Iranian responded.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for civilian use only and that it has a right under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to develop the nuclear fuel cycle.

Senior Iranian officials said Iran was not bluffing over its threat to reactivate Isfahan as some EU3 diplomats suspect. “We are serious and also upset about Europeans’ failure to deliver promises,” said one official.

The officials said Iran had not decided when to break IAEA seals at the facility.

Latest news

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

How Internet Censorship Is Damaging Iran’s Economy

While in the last four months, internet access in Iran has been cut off or severely limited, the regime’s...

Must read

Focus on Syria and Iran instead

New York Times: Much of the news media coverage...

German chancellor wants more concessions for Iran

Reuters: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Sunday the...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you