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Iran will consider a proposal by the European Union to receive nuclear technology
Iran will consider a proposal by the European Union to receive nuclear technology if it abandons its uranium enrichment programme but has not yet agreed to any deal, an Iranian official says. "It is just at the initial stage. The matter has to be considered on both sides," Sirius Naseri, a member of the Iranian delegation at a meeting with senior French, British and German officials, told reporters on Thursday. "What has been agreed is that we will continue the dialogue he said outside the French mission to the United Nations, adding that the EU trio had presented their offer in "more or less clear terms". If Iran rejects the EU offer, diplomats say most European nations will back U.S. demands that Tehran be reported to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meets in November. Asked if Iran was afraid of being reported to the Security Council, Naseri said only: "We are not threatening each other." Diplomats said the EU's "big three" had the reluctant blessing of the United States in making the offer, despite Washington's belief that Iran was using talks with the EU to buy time to acquire the capability to build a nuclear bomb, informs Reuters. According to the Guardian Unlimited, Iran is unlikely to accept European incentives aimed at getting it to suspend uranium enrichment, diplomats said Thursday, raising the prospect of a showdown next month between Tehran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency. Envoys from Britain, France and Germany offered civilian nuclear technology and a trade deal to the Iranians in a private meeting at the French mission to international organizations in Vienna. But Western diplomats said they doubt Iran will back down easily. Iran did not immediately respond to the incentives, which included the promise of lucrative trade, a light-water nuclear research reactor and the chance to buy nuclear fuel from the West. An Iranian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Thursday's meeting did not involve detailed negotiations, merely the formal presentation of the European offer. The United States on Thursday pressed Iran to respond to demands that it comply with the UN nuclear watchdog after three European nations made a last-chance proposal to entice Tehran into compliance. Washington, which has frowned on the incentives offered by Britain, France and Germany, would not comment on the European offer or whether Iran would accept it and said it was interested only in whether Tehran would meet its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "The important thing about the meeting is what the Iranians say now ... as to whether or not, yes or no, they are going to comply with the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency board of directors," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. An Iranian official said after the meeting that Tehran would study the European proposal and respond in the coming days. But on Wednesday, Iran vowed not to give up on producing enriched uranium, the process used to make fuel for civilian atomic energy reactors but also the explosive core of nuclear weapons. The United States wants the IAEA, which since February 2003 has been investigating Iran on US claims that the Islamic Republic has a covert nuclear weapons program, to send Iran before the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions, reports France-Presse
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