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Iran Rejects Proposal by US and European Union EU - China and Russia May Opt Out of UN Sanction Vote and Even Abstain From Sanctions

June 2nd 2006

Iran Rejects Proposal by US and European Union EU - China and Russia May Opt Out of UN Sanction Vote and Even Abstain From Sanctions

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The standoff between the US and Iran continues as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that the West will not deprive Iran of nuclear technology.  The United States had recently offered to open a dialogue with Iran if they agree to suspend certain nuclear-related activities.

The Iranian President’s message did not mention the package agreed on a day earlier by the UN Security Council.  Germany has also asked the Iranians to suspend uranium enrichment and come back to the negotiating table, according to an Associated Press report. The Iranian State News Agency, IRNA reported that Ahmadinejad said “The efforts of some Western countries to deprive us will not bear any fruit.”

 

The US Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, warned in a BBC Interview that Iran could have a nuclear bomb between 2010 and 2015, 'which is a cause of great concern’.  Negroponte went on to accuse Iran of being the world’s top sponsor of terrorism.  He said “Their behavior has been a cause of concern not only in Lebanon and Israel and in the Palestinian territories, but in Iraq.”  Comment on this article at our Forum

According to the news agency, Iran Focus, Iran has hinted that it has enriched uranium to nearly 20 percent.  Iran Focus reports that Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said it was incorrect to place a 3.5, 5, or 10 percent cap on Iran’s level of uranium enrichment. “Fuel for lightwater reactors needs uranium enriched to even 19.9 percent, therefore these remarks that Iran should accept a 10 percent cap on its enrichment cannot be correct”, he said.

 

Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, had offered to join multilateral talks with Iran on its nuclear program.  The Voice of America reported that Rice said "The United States is willing to exert strong leadership to give diplomacy its very best chance to succeed. Thus, to underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution and to enhance the prospect for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its uranium-enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will come to the table with our E-U colleagues [the European Union 3: France, Germany and Britain] and meet with Iran's representatives."

Russia and China can opt out but will not block U.N. sanctions that may be imposed on Iran if it refuses to suspend its nuclear enrichment program, Reuters reports.  A diplomat from the European Union said that the six world powers had agreed on a "catalogue of sanctions" that could be used if Tehran remains defiant. "There is something like a catalogue of sanctions and we can pick and choose from them. The agreement reached yesterday is also that Russia and China can abstain from any sanctions, but not say no," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

 
Interestingly, the deal that Russia and China once opposed is now supported by the two countries.  They both have strong trade ties with Iran.  The anonymous diplomat said the measure could be similar to a confidential EU paper obtained by Reuters last month.  They include political measures like visa bans on Iranian officials and diplomats and their families, freezing assets of Iranian officials and companies and various trade sanctions. They would be imposed incrementally.
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Dan Wilson
Freelance Writer

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Keywords and misspellings:  Eropean union Uropean politics poletics democrat demoncrat republican repub comentary commentary


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