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World powers meet to discuss Iran nuclear offer
Cat : WMD
Date : 2006-05-24 17:08:21                      Reader : 263
As an American said when they tell him that Israel is the only friend of US , he demands who were our enemies before creation of Israel !!


REUTERS 24/5/2006

World powers meet to discuss Iran nuclear offer


By Madeline Chambers
LONDON (Reuters) - World powers met in London on Wednesday to discuss a package of incentives and threats drafted by European countries aimed at defusing a crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s president, however, dampened hopes of any progress by insisting on Iran’s right to a full range of nuclear technology, and Britain said it did not expect the meeting to achieve a breakthrough.

Senior officials from U.N. Security Council permanent members China, Russia, the United States, France and Britain, plus Germany, are seeking to narrow divisions over how to proceed to persuade Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment work.

"(The officials) are not really anticipating that today will be the final meeting," British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett told reporters shortly before it started. "It will be a key meeting today but I suspect it won’t be the final meeting."

Washington and some Western nations suspect Iran’s nuclear program is a cover for efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

The head of Russia’s atomic energy agency, Sergei Kiryenko, had said earlier in Washington he hoped for a "major breakthrough" at the London meeting.

However, it was unclear whether the meeting would resolve serious differences between Washington and Moscow over U.S. demands that Iran face sanctions, resisted by Russia, if it continues to defy the international community.

The Islamic Republic says it is developing nuclear technology for civilian power generation and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a defiant message.

"Using nuclear energy is Iran’s right," Ahmadinejad told a rally in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"The enemies who could not stop the Iranian nation of reaching nuclear technology by means of political pressure, conspiracies and using the tool of international organizations are now plotting against us," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, speaking in Vietnam, said he had appealed to Iran to reassure the world that its nuclear intentions are peaceful and asked it "not to reject anything out of hand" which might emerge from the talks in London.

But one EU diplomat said it was hard to see what the meeting, which started around midday, could achieve.

"It’s really just an academic exercise, since the Iranians have made it clear that they won’t accept any offer."


President Bush said countries had to work together to encourage Tehran to halt its nuclear program.

"Obviously we’d like to solve this issue peacefully and diplomatically, and the more the Iranians refuse to negotiate in good faith the more countries are beginning to realize that we must continue to work together," Bush said.

Some EU officials, analysts and the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog -- the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- want Washington to engage with Iran.

They believe the only way to entice Iran back to negotiations and getting it to stop its nuclear work would be a U.S. pledge not to try to topple the Tehran government.

Bush said Washington was working with partners, including Russia, to show them that Iran was "showing no good faith."

The package is likely to include an offer of a light-water reactor and an assured supply from abroad of fuel for civilian atomic plants so Iran would not have to enrich uranium itself.

Enriched uranium can be used as a nuclear fuel, but is also a key component of atomic weapons.

The package will also warn of possible sanctions if Iran, the world’s fourth-biggest oil producer, refuses the offer.

Diplomats say they would first discuss targeted sanctions, such as visa bans on officials involved in the nuclear program, before seeking ways of curtailing trade deals.

The Washington Post, citing U.S. officials, Iranian analysts and foreign diplomats, reported that Iran was making explicit requests for direct talks with the United States.

The State Department declined to give an immediate comment.

(Additional reporting by David Clarke, Edmund Blair in Tehran, Lou Charbonneau in Berlin, Tabassum Zakaria in Washington.)

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