Iran Officials Say They Did Not Agree To Stop Enrichment For Two Months – Contradicts Earlier Reports From Anonymous Sources

Iran Officials Say They Did Not Agree To Stop Enrichment For Two Months – Contradicts Earlier Reports From Anonymous Sources

Although China and Russia do not want Iran to enrich uranium, they may object to international sanctions against the country. Iran holds the world’s second largest oil and natural-gas reserves, but has insisted it needs to enrich uranium to supply energy.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany will be holding talks today. In meetings with the European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana, the Iranian negotiator said that Iran may consider suspending efforts to enrich uranium, one of the key demands of the EU and the U.S. According to a report by the Associated Press, Iranian negotiator, Ali Larijani, indicated that enrichment might be stopped for as long as two months.

Iranian officials have publicly said they have not offered to stop enrichment. There has been some confusion over the talks between Solana and Larijani. The European news agency, EuroNews reports that Iranian officials denied reports that Tehran offered to suspend its uranium enrichment program for two months. Comment on this Article at our Forum

Both Russia and China are working on energy projects in Iran, according to Bloomberg reporters Philipp Grontzki and Aaron Sheldrick. Although the US representatives want to draft a measure early next week to impose sanctions, China, Russia and the EU want to avoid economic sanctions. Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, two days ago appealed for further negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

Not all of the European nations want sanctions against Iran. A European diplomat told the Associated Press on Sunday that much of the opposition came from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Slovenia. Italy and Spain have agitated for a larger role in talks with Iran, and Larijani met with Spanish and Italian leaders before coming to Vienna on Friday.

It is still not clear whether Iran has agreed to stop enriching uranium. The AP report includes anonymous sources. But there are some hopeful signs. When Larijani and Solana emerged from their meeting they both spoke of progress and agreed to meet again later this week.

Neither side disclosed the substance of their discussions. Solana said "the meeting was worth it;" while Larijani told reporters that "many of the misunderstandings were removed." Larijani added "We have reached a common point of view on a number of issues.” Comment on this Article at our Forum

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Writer

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