EU offers Iran nuclear technology to end enrichment

25 May 2006

The European Union is prepared to share advanced nuclear technologies with Iran, on the condition that the Islamic republic abandons its efforts at uranium enrichment.

Speaking after the Council meeting this month, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana offered to supply Iran with the “best and most sophisticated technology,” adding that the new offer would go further than the initial package of incentives offered last August.

While details of the proposal will require consultations with the US, Russia and China Solana said: “We are prepared to work on a co-operation package and support Iran's development of a proliferation-proof civilian nuclear programme.”

The offer is conditional on a complete stop to uranium enrichment in Iran. Said Solana: “If they want to construct a nuclear energy power plant, they would have, in cooperation with the European Union and other members of the international community, the best and most sophisticated technology. If they reject that, it would mean that what they want is something different.

The offer came shortly after Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki issued a blanket rejection of any proposal which called on Iran to suspend enrichment.

Senior officials from UN Security Council permanent members China, Russia, the US, France and Britain, along with Germany are meeting this week in London to discuss the issue.

The package is expected to include a light-water reactor and an assured supply of fuel, most likely from Russia, that would leave Iran without a nuclear fuel cycle.

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