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. Britain's Straw confirms tentative nuclear deal with Iran
LONDON (AFP) Nov 09, 2004
Britain and other European nations have reached an informal deal with Iran over helping it with civilian nuclear technology if it halts potential military applications, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Tuesday.

British, French and German officials had struck a tentative agreement with Tehran "designed to give us confidence that Iran is not developing the most sensitive nuclear technologies, while we seek to agree long-term arrangements for Iran's nuclear power programmes", Straw told parliament.

"I very much hope that the government of Iran accepts the draft, including the need for a full suspension of uranium enrichment and processing and all related activities," he said.

On Sunday, an Iranian official said that the country had reached a "preliminary agreement" with EU nations on concerns about the country's nuclear programme following negotiations in Paris.

Straw was asked by a British lawmaker on Tuesday about reports that the deal would involve Britain backing the construction of a light water civilian nuclear reactor in Iran in return for an end to any weapons programme.

"There have indeed been discussions at informal level about the provision of technology in that regard," Straw confirmed.

"One of the reasons why we believe it is very important for this agreement to be reached is so there can be complete confidence that the nuclear research programme of the Iranians is directed only to the peaceful production of nuclear energy," he said.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, a matter the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been trying to investigate.

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