Iran seeks incentives from Europe to break nuclear impasse: report
WASHINGTON (AFP) May 19, 2005
Iran is seeking significant incentives from Europe, like a deal for 10 nuclear reactors, to break the weeks-long stalemate in negotiations over its nuclear program, but it will never be persuaded to abandon its plans to enrich fuel, a top Iranian negotiator told The New York Times.
Hossein Mousavian, in an interview published Thursday, said Iran was prepared to prolong its six-month suspension of all aspects of the fuel cycles a while longer.
"We would be prepared to continue suspension of enrichment for two to three more months, or some months, to test whether there would be any outcome of negotiations," he said, referring to Iran's negotiations with Britain, France and Germany set to resume Tuesday in Brussels.
However, the member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council stressed that no incentives would persuade Iran to abandon its plans to enrich fuel, which the United States fears would lead to the development of a nuclear bomb.
He said Iran was "100 percent flexible, open, ready to negotiate, to compromise on any mechanism, but not cessation."
The three European Union country members called a crisis meeting with Iran after Tehran announced late last month it would resume uranium conversion work, a move that would violate the November accord on freezing nuclear fuel work and opening long-term talks.
Iran has agreed to hold off from resuming uranium conversion -- a precursor to the ultra-sensitive enrichment process -- pending the emergency talks.
Musavian accused the Europeans of stalling and called the US offer to provide Iran with spare parts for used airplanes as an incentive "just a joke."
He said Iran has proposed reaching a complete uranium enrichment cycle in four phases over two years to allow the West to monitor the process and grow confident Iran was not trying to build a nuclear weapon.
"In terms of the different phases and the time of each phase, we have not closed the door for the Europeans," Mousavian told The New York Times.
In exchange for allowing international inspections of every stage of the enrichment process, he added, Tehran expects a major package of incentives involving its security, political stability and economic development.
Asked by the daily of a specific example of the kind of incentives his government sought, Mousavian said: "Europe can agree in principle to a contract for 10 nuclear power plants for Iran."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.