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West Wary of Iran's Nuclear Offer


The international community has reacted warily to proposals by Tehran that France create a consortium to produce and monitor enriched uranium in Iran. The offer was made by Mohammed Saeedi, the deputy head of Iran's atomic energy organization through various foreign media, including the French France-Info radio station.

Saeedi outlined a plan under which France would create a consortium to produce enriched uranium in Iran. This consortium could also monitor Iranian activities, presumably to ensure that the enrichment was for peaceful purposes and not military ones. In exchange, he said, Iran should not be forced to suspend it nuclear program as a condition for negotiations.

The offer came as world powers have expressed growing impatience with Iran, as negotiations over its nuclear activities remain stalled. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who has been meeting with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator to revive the talks, called Saeedis proposal interesting but said it needed more examination.

And French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the offer would be considered only if Iran first suspended its nuclear activities. World powers fear Iran is trying to build a bomb, although Tehran insists its program is designed to produce energy.

On Tuesday, the United States and Britain again warned they may soon try to push for sanctions against Iran at the United Nations Security Council, if no progress is made. The two countries - along with Russia, China, France and Germany - have offered Tehran economic and political incentives if it halts its nuclear activities.

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