EU recognizes Iran's nuclear ambitions cannot be stopped: report
LONDON, Feb 13 (AFP) Feb 13, 2007
The EU believes Iran is unlikely to negotiate seriously on its nuclear programme and that there is little the international community can do little to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
The internal "reflection paper" prepared for Monday's meeting of EU foreign ministers by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana's staff and seen by the FT said that it was "difficult to believe" that Tehran would in the coming months resume talks on its nuclear programme.
At their meeting EU foreign ministers welcomed possible new talks to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions but pushed ahead with UN sanctions to punish Tehran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.
Meeting in Brussels, they pledged to press on with their "twin track" approach of keeping the door open to negotiations with Iran while endorsing specially targeted UN Security Council measures.
Iran insists its programme aims to generate nuclear energy for civilian purposes, but world powers suspect it of wanting to develop nuclear arms.
The internal document was sceptical however of the chances of sanctions being effective and concludes there is little that can be done from preventing Iran from developing the technical infrastructure to build its own nuclear bomb.
"In practice ... the Iranians have pursued their programme at their own pace, the limiting factor being technical difficulties rather than resolutions by the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency," the document said.
"Attempts to engage the Iranian administration in a negotiating process have not so far succeeded ... The problems with Iran will not be resolved through economic sanctions alone," it added.
"At some stage we must expect that Iran will acquire the capacity to enrich uranium on the scale required for a weapons programme," the document which was dated February 7 said, according to the business daily.
It adds that Iran's rejection last year of a European offer trade incentives to halt enrichment "makes it difficult to believe that, at least in the short run, (Iran) would be ready to establish the conditions for the resumption of negotiations."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.