Iran and EU to meet November 5 in Paris on Tehran's disputed nuclear program
VIENNA (AFP) Oct 29, 2004
Iran and the EU are to resume last-chance nuclear talks in Paris next Friday with time running out for Iran to accept the European offer to suspend uranium enrichment in order to avoid possible UN Security Council sanctions, diplomats said in Vienna Friday.
Iran and the European Union's three key states Britain, France and Germany have already met twice this month in Vienna in discussions ahead of a meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on November 25 that will decide on the Iranian nuclear program, which the United States claims aims to secretly developing atomic weapons.
Next week's meeting in Paris "has been announced" to diplomats, a senior European diplomat close to the IAEA told AFP.
But the de facto deadline for Iran is much sooner than November 25, diplomats said.
They said Iran must decide by mid-November about suspending uranium enrichment if it is to avoid having the IAEA, the UN's nuclear watchdog, take it to the Security Council, which could impose punishing sanctions.
IAEA chief Mohamad ElBaradei has said it would take his agency 10 days to verify suspension, a Western diplomat said.
"November 15 is a kind of logistical deadline for the IAEA," the diplomat said.
Iran and the EU failed to agree in a meeting in Vienna last Wednesday on getting Tehran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities.
Iran was responding to an offer by the European trio, which have the backing of the EU, that would allow Tehran to escape potential UN sanctions and as a reward receive nuclear technology by indefinitely suspending uranium enrichment.
Enrichment is the process that makes fuel for civilian reactors but also what can be the explosive core of atomic bombs.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.