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. UN nuclear chief hopes for Iran solution
VIENNA (AFP) Nov 10, 2005
UN atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei is holding off on traveling to Iran to present a last-ditch proposal allowing Tehran some sensitive nuclear activities until the offer wins wide international backing, diplomats said.

"It depends if this proposal gets buy-in from Russia and China, and also some non-aligned countries," a Western diplomat told AFP Thursday.

A European diplomat said the proposal was "not yet on the table" and that European Union negotiators Britain, Germany and France were "exploring what flexibilities there might be with other countries to see if we might come to an agreement."

Washington, London, Paris, and Berlin will make a new offer to Iran to avoid a confrontation over its suspected nuclear weapons program, The New York Times said Thursday quoting US and European officials.

The proposal would let Iran conduct very limited nuclear activities on its territory, but would have it move all uranium enrichment processes to Russia, the officials said.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said: "Dr. ElBaradei supports the efforts of the countries who are presently engaged in developing such a proposal."

She said ElBaradei "hopes that in the coming days the international community will be able to coalesce around a solution that is acceptable to all parties, including Iran."

"Dr Elbaradei has a standing invitation to visit Iran, and while he has no plans to do so at present, he is ready to travel to Iran at an appropriate time if it will help facilitate a solution," Fleming said.

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.

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