Mon, Aug 08, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Iran says EU proposals have `no value'


Iran said yesterday that the nuclear proposals by the EU have "no value" and are unacceptable as they do not include the main Iranian demand of having its own nuclear fuel cycle.

Outgoing Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told the news network Khabar that Iran would start its uranium conversion plant in Isfahan in central Iran as scheduled today, but would still prefer to continue talks with the EU.

In the meantime, Kharrazi's spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told reporters yesterday that the final official reply to the EU will be presented today and not yesterday as earlier announced.

Assefi reiterated that the proposals seemed unacceptable as they did not include the main Iranian demand of granting the country the nuclear fuel cycle and also the political and security guarantees were not sufficiently explicit. He did not further elaborate.

The EU trio Britain, France and Germany presented Iran with several political and economic incentives aimed at persuading the Islamic state to drop nuclear activities in general and the reopening of the Isfahan plant in particular.

"The EU package was colorful but without contents," he said.

The spokesman reiterated that the Isfahan plant was only for uranium conversion and the actual enrichment process in the Natanz plant -- also central Iran -- would not be resumed.

He said that a special technical representative of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would arrive in Teheran today for finalizing the procedures for opening the Isfahan conversion plant. He gave, however, no exact date.

The EU wants Iran to follow neither conversion nor enrichment programs as although uranium enrichment at low level can only be used for producing nuclear fuel, as planned by Iran, further enrichment makes it usable for making atomic bombs.

Assefi said international consequences in form of the emergency meeting of the IAEA governor board scheduled for tomorrow or threats to bring the case to the UN Security Council had no legal justification and are politically motivated.

"We are not worried about these threats as there is nothing sweeter than maintaining national interests," he said.

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