Reuters: The European Union on Friday insisted Iran give up nuclear fuel work and called an urgent meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog that could refer Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions. But a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator said the Islamic Republic would resume work at a nuclear fuel plant regardless of EU proposals for political and economic incentives that offered support for the building of nuclear power stations. Reuters
By Parisa Hafezi
TEHRAN/BRUSSELS – The European Union on Friday insisted Iran give up nuclear fuel work and called an urgent meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog that could refer Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions.
But a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator said the Islamic Republic would resume work at a nuclear fuel plant regardless of EU proposals for political and economic incentives that offered support for the building of nuclear power stations.
“As Iran will have an assured supply of fuel over the coming years, it will be able to provide the confidence needed by making a binding commitment not to pursue fuel cycle activities other than the construction and operation of light water power and research reactors,” said a copy of a summary of the proposals obtained by Reuters.
The EU — represented by Britain, France and Germany — has been trying to find a compromise for two years between the United States and Iran.
Washington says Iran is trying to build covertly a nuclear bomb, but Tehran denies the charge and says it has the right to convert and enrich uranium for power generation.
The ambassadors of the Britain, France and Germany presented the EU’s proposals to 15 top Iranian officials on Friday.
“This proposal is not definite. It is negotiable and expandable,” two sources present at the meeting quoted one of the ambassadors as saying. “The only item which is definite, is the one which asserts that the EU3 considers no difference between enrichment and uranium conversion activities.”
“LISTEN TO REASON”
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy called on Iran to “listen to reason”. If Iran resumed its nuclear activities, “the international community will surely bring the issue to the Security Council”, he told Europe 1 radio.
The trio of European Union countries are also planning to call a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — the U.N. nuclear watchdog — early next week to warn Tehran against restarting the sensitive nuclear work, diplomats said.
The IAEA can refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council where the United States says Tehran should face sanctions.
“The Europeans, the Americans and the whole world should know that however many bribes they give, on no condition will Iran abandon its rights, we have definitely made our decisions and whatever they do it will be harmful for them,” Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told Tehran Friday prayers.
Iranian officials said the EU offer included backing for Iran to be the main route for oil and gas exports from Central Asia, allowing Western companies to build nuclear power plants in Iran and closer political and security ties.
Iran says it needs nuclear power stations to meet booming electricity demand. The EU3 offer of power stations could help Iran to meet that demand without having to process its own nuclear fuel — which could be used to make a bomb.
“In the proposal, they have supported the idea of Iran being the main energy transit route to Europe from Central Asia,” a senior Iranian close to the EU negotiations told Reuters.
But Washington has long opposed letting Iran carrying fuel from Central Asia and can impose unilateral sanctions on any company that invests more $20 million in Iran’s energy sector.