Thursday, October 21, 2004

So they meet, again

France, Germany and the UK will meet with Iran in an effort to get Iran to give up its "nuclear enrichment plans." Iran would face "possible" UN sanctions if they don't agree:

France, Germany and the UK will meet Iranian officials on Thursday (21 October) in a bid to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear enrichment plans or face possible UN sanctions. Senior officials from the three countries will meet Hassan Rohani, Secretary-General of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, in Vienna, it was confirmed today. Tehran agreed last year to suspend its uranium enrichment plans - which purifies uranium for use either in nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons - but has yet to honour the deal. German foreign minister Joschka Fischer said Iran should "fulfill its commitments and ... avoid miscalculation that will lead us into a very serious situation", according to Reuters. Iranian officials countered that they would not give up their right to enrich uranium but insisted that they had no plans to build nuclear weapons. Mr Rohani hinted yesterday that Iran might suspend some nuclear activities but it still wants to be able to produce its own enriched uranium. However, the US is convinced that Iran intends to develop nuclear capabilities and has pushed for a tougher line with Tehran. And the EU has recently toughened its own stance, indicating that 31 October is the final deadline for Iran to comply if it wishes to avoid sanctions. Last week, the EU presented a "carrot and stick" approach at the G8 summit of leading industrial nations, whereby incentives would be offered in exchange for Iran stopping its enrichment programme.


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