January 26, 2005 in Nation/World

Iran won’t stop nuclear enrichment

George Jahn Associated Press
 

DAVOS, Switzerland – A confidential summary of talks between key European powers and Iran made available to the Associated Press on Tuesday shows there has been no progress in getting Iran to scrap nuclear enrichment – even though Tehran acknowledged it does not need nuclear energy.

The United States and several other countries fear Iran is seeking to enrich uranium not to the low level needed to generate power but to weapons-grade uranium that forms the core of nuclear warheads.

Iran publicly insists it only seeks to make low-grade enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. But the summary of the last meeting on the issue involving representatives of France, Britain, Germany and Iran says Tehran acknowledged what Washington and its allies have argued all along – that the oil-rich country has no need for nuclear energy.

Diplomats familiar with the talks said that the atmosphere between the two sides had improved during the second round held in Geneva on Jan. 17.

But they agreed that no progress was being made on the Europeans’ insistence that Iran’s present temporary suspension of its enrichment programs be turned into a commitment to permanently mothball all such activities.

Iran suspended uranium enrichment and all related activities in November, derailing U.S. attempts to have it reported to the U.N. Security Council for alleged violations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

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