Iran says EU nuclear incentives not enough
TEHRAN (AFP) Apr 16, 2005
Iran said Saturday it had not seen enough incentives from the European Union to pave the way for a deal over its controversial nuclear activities, ahead of a new round of talks next week.
Senior negotiator Cyrus Nasseri warned that Tehran would pull out of the talks with the so-called EU3 without tangible progress, but said nevertheless that the negotiations were on the right track.
He told the IRNA news agency that the European offers in the negotiations, aimed at allaying international concerns Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, were not enough.
Britain, France and Germany have been trying to secure "objective guarantees" that Iran will not use its atomic energy ambitions to acquire weapons, and in exchange they are offering a package of trade, security, diplomatic and technology benefits Iran calls "firm guarantees."
"We don't have much time for reaching a solution, time is limited and we will halt (negotiations) as soon as we feel we are not making tangible progress," Nasseri said ahead of a new round of discussions on April 19.
However "the negotiations are on the right track ... leading to a wise, logical and balanced solution satisfactory to both sides," he added.
Iran agreed in November to suspend enrichment activities as a goodwill gesture for a maximum of six months, but the Europeans want the suspension to become permanent, a demand the Iranians have termed "absurd".
The United States in particular suspects archfoe Tehran of seeking to use its nuclear program to produce atomic weapons, for which enrichment is a vital component, and has not ruled out the possibility of military action.
However Washington announced it would help the EU put together the incentives by dropping objections to Iran's membership of the World Trade Organization and allowing it access to spare parts for civilian aircraft.
Nasseri said he did not see "any need" for a US role in the negotiations. But "it seems that Americans have wised up that there is no way of confronting Iran and if they do, the danger of them getting hurt is very high."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.