Iran Nuclear NewsIran should suspend uranium program to allow talks, U.S....

Iran should suspend uranium program to allow talks, U.S. says

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Bloomberg: Iran should agree to a “verifiable suspension” of uranium enrichment to allow negotiations to start on its nuclear program, U.S. National Security Adviser Steve Hadley said.
By Paul Tighe and Jonathan Tirone

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) — Iran should agree to a “verifiable suspension” of uranium enrichment to allow negotiations to start on its nuclear program, U.S. National Security Adviser Steve Hadley said.

The U.S. would be prepared to join talks on what happens to the enrichment program once it is suspended, Hadley said yesterday. “A permanent solution is what you negotiate about,” according to a White House transcript.

The U.S. shouldn’t try to use force to resolve the dispute, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday during a visit to Venezuela. Ahmadinejad, whose name is pronounced ah-ma- deen-ah-ZHAD, is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly today in New York, the same day that U.S. President George W. Bush gives a speech to the UN body.

The UN Security Council ordered Iran on July 31 to suspend its uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make nuclear fuel or build a bomb, or face possible sanctions. Iran says it won’t give up its enrichment work. The European Union has made a U.S.-backed proposal to Iran for trade and technological benefits in exchange for ending enrichment.

“The proposal that we put down to the Iranians has a lot of ideas in it about how they can meet their enrichment needs in a way that would reassure the international community that it is not a route to a nuclear weapon,” Hadley told reporters on board Air Force One, according to the transcript. “That would be a subject of the negotiations.”

Benefit Iran

The EU proposal, if accepted by Iran, will benefit the Iranian people in terms of bringing them prosperity and a better way of life, Hadley said.

Ahmadinejad, speaking in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, reiterated his country’s willingness to negotiate a peace solution “with everyone.” His remarks at a news conference were translated from Farsi to Spanish.

Iranian Vice President Reza Aghazadeh yesterday warned the Security Council that “hostile” actions in response to the nuclear program would trigger a reduction in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN agency that conducts nuclear inspections.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has no legal obligation to accept” limits to its atomic program, Aghazadeh said in Vienna.

The IAEA said last month that Iran hadn’t stopped its work, triggering talks between the U.S., U.K., France, Russia and China, the five permanent members of the Security Council, and Germany on possible penalties, including economic sanctions.

Resolved in Talks

The standoff with Iran should be resolved through talks, French President Jacques Chirac said yesterday, adding he is “not pessimistic” about reaching an accord.

The five permanent members and Germany “together with Iran should agree on a timetable for negotiations,” Chirac said in an interview with Europe 1 radio. Once talks begin, the UN should lift the threat of sanctions and Iran should agree to suspend its uranium enrichment activities during the talks, Chirac said.

China urged diplomats at the IAEA’s 50th annual meeting in Vienna to be pragmatic over Iran’s nuclear program.

“We hope that the concerned parties will take into account the interests and concerns of all sides and take a pragmatic route to solving this issue,” delegate Qin Sun said yesterday.

Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, said Sept. 15 progress has been made in talks with Iran over the program and there is a “sense of urgency” in the search for a solution.

Solana and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, called off a meeting originally set for Sept. 14 in Paris. Solana said yesterday he plans to meet Larijani this week in New York, Agence France-Presse reported.

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