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Friday, August 05, 2005

 

AP: Europeans bait Iran to drop nukes

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By Angela Doland -
 
PARIS (AP) - European negotiators on Friday handed Iran a proposal for resolving the standoff over its nuclear program, offering trade, political and security cooperation and the possibility for Tehran to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, France said.

Douste-BlazyForeign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, right, said he considered the proposals by France, Germany and Britain - which have been negotiating with Iran on behalf of the European Union - to be "ambitious and generous."

He said the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will meet in an extraordinary session in the middle of next week to discuss Iran.

"I hope that Iran will hear the voice of reason and that it will take the path of negotiation and dialogue, and that it will not move toward a resumption of nuclear activities," Douste-Blazy told Europe-1 radio.

"We are even ready to support a civilian, but of course, non-proliferating, nuclear program," the minister said, adding that negotiators also proposed technological, political and security cooperation.

The Europeans, backed by the United States, are offering the incentives in exchange for Iran resolving concerns that its nuclear program is aimed at producing weapons. Despite its large oil reserves, Iran insists it is interested only in producing nuclear power.

Douste-Blazy's ministry confirmed the incentives had been submitted to Tehran on Friday but declined to give details, saying France wanted to give Iran time to study them.

Full AP Breaking News story.


Comments:
Iran has declared that it will resume nuclear conversion at Esfahan within one or two days. Europe has requested an emergency meeting of the IAEA to pressure Iran not to resume nuclear fuel cycle work. Israel is pressuring Ukraine to demand from Iran the 12 nuclear-capable X-55 cruise missiles that were smuggled there four years ago.

All of this is happening as the talks with North Korea are drawing to a crucial, and so far unpredictable, end.

So is World War III imminent? Hardly.

Over reaction is exactly what these unlikely allies are fishing for. The coincidence of declared threats by both countries is a bit too convenient. By cranking the nuclear threat pressure simultaneously, both North Korea and Iran are hoping to walk away with the most handouts.
 
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