AFP: Iran went back Wednesday on its offer to allow France to monitor the enrichment of uranium on Iranian soil, saying the matter had yet to be decided. TEHRAN, Oct 4, 2006 (AFP) – Iran went back Wednesday on its offer to allow France to monitor the enrichment of uranium on Iranian soil, saying the matter had yet to be decided.
“No decision has been taken for the moment on how to form a consortium and the parties which will be invited to participate,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in a statement.
The deputy head of Iran’s atomic energy organization, Mohammad Saeedi, proposed on Tuesday that France create a consortium to enrich uranium in Iran, to allay international concerns over the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
The United States, France and Britain rejected the proposal as a stalling tactic and said it did not meet United Nations Security Council’s demands that Iran freeze all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, however, described the Iranian offer as “interesting”.
Hosseini said the “idea to form a consortium was brought up as one of the ways to guarantee the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear work in recent talks between (Iran’s nuclear chief) Ali Larijani and Javier Solana”.
Solana and Larijani have been leading talks aimed at finding a deal on Iran’s nuclear program but have so far failed to reach a breakthrough.
Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for peaceful energy needs, vehemently rejecting US allegations it is seeking to manufacture nuclear weapons.
A year ago Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that partners from private and state sectors of other countries join the Islamic republic’s enrichment activities.