Saturday, October 15, 2005

U.S. and France Agree Iran Must Stop Making Nuclear Fuel

The New York Times:


PARIS, Oct. 14 - France's foreign minister said today that Iran should be allowed to have a civilian nuclear power program as long as it acquires the nuclear fuel elsewhere and ends its own fuel processing program. American officials said they agreed.

"There is absolutely no need for them to have the fuel cycle," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said during a news conference here with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Russia has offered to provide fuel in that circumstance.

With important deadlines pending within days on several major foreign policy issues, including Iran, Ms. Rice stopped here for consultations with President Jacques Chirac of France and Mr. Douste-Blazy. Then she leaves for similar consultations in Moscow and London.

Under discussion are how to deal with the aftermath of the constitutional referendum in Iraq on Saturday; the United Nations investigation into the death of Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese politician, which is to be completed later this month; and another United Nations investigation due to be completed at about the same time, on what sort of involvement Syria still has in Lebanon.

The International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution last month referring Iran to the Security Council for its nuclear activities. The resolution requires a further vote by the agency's board on Nov. 24, but the United States and its European allies are hoping that Iran will return to negotiations and ends its fuel processing activities before then.

Ms. Rice, in her meetings, is also trying to reinforce support for referral to the Security Council, should Iran fail to act in the next few weeks.

"The Iranians are not in compliance with their obligations," Ms. Rice said. "The Iranians need to get involved in negotiations and restore the confidence of the international community that they're not trying to build a nuclear weapons."


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