AFP: The United States on Thursday took a cautious stance on Tehran’s decision to examine a new nuclear proposal from Moscow, saying it was too soon to tell if it was a step in the right direction. WASHINGTON, Dec 29 (AFP) – The United States on Thursday took a cautious stance on Tehran’s decision to examine a new nuclear proposal from Moscow, saying it was too soon to tell if it was a step in the right direction.
“It is hard to say at this point what it means, frankly,” said State Department spokesman Adam Ereli. “At this point, I can’t really say what the Iranians’ intentions are.”
“What we want to see, what the Russians want to see, what the EU-3 wants to see and what the IAEA (International Atomic Enercy Agency) wants to see is an Iranian cooperation,” Ereli said. “Does this statement by this one person constitute that? At this point, it’s hard to say. We will have to see.”
Ereli was referring to comments that a member of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council made to the ISNA student news agency on Wednesday.
“The new Russian proposal can be studied so that its economic, technical and scientific aspects will be clear,” council member Javad Vaidi had said.
On Thursday, council spokesman Hossein Entezami told AFP that Iran has “received the Russian proposal and is examining it.”
Ereli said: “At this point, it is a little too early to say things are moving in the right direction or are not moving in the right direction. The proof will be in the pudding.”
Russia enjoys close ties with Iran and is currently helping build the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran.
Moscow’s proposal attacks the key sticking point in talks between Iran and the European Union over Iran’s nuclear program, which the United States charges serves as cover for nuclear weapons ambitions.
Its proposal would allow Iran to conduct uranium enrichment outside the country in Russia, giving Iran access to the nuclear fuel cycle but providing a guarantee its nuclear program is peaceful.