• Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Auto width resolution
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • default color
  • red color
  • green color

World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Thursday
Sep 24th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Iran submits nuclear letter, no mention of freeze
Iran submits nuclear letter, no mention of freeze PDF Print E-mail
Written by Reuters   
Wednesday, 06 August 2008

EU US Nuke Talks July 2008
EU US Nuke Talks July 2008

U.S. calls Iran nuclear letter "obfuscation"

Iran submits nuclear letter, no mention of freeze
Tue Aug 5, 6:16 AM ET

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A letter from Iran to world powers does not mention the idea of freezing Tehran's nuclear work, an Iranian official said on Tuesday -- a step the West demanded to avert more U.N. sanctions.
 
Six world powers have offered to refrain from steps to impose more U.N. sanctions if Iran freezes expansion of its nuclear work. The offer was an initial step in getting talks going on a broader resolution to the stand-off.

The West fears Iran is seeking to build nuclear warheads, a charge Tehran denies.

A European Union official said the letter had not yet been received.

"The letter handed over is not an answer to the offered package (by world powers) ... The letter does not mention the freeze-for-freeze issue," the senior official told Reuters.

The official also said a freeze was not mentioned in telephone talks on Monday between Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who is representing world powers.

"During the call, Jalili expressed his readiness to start formal talks (on the incentives package)," the official added.

The freeze idea is aimed at getting preliminary discussions going before starting full negotiations on a package of nuclear, trade and other incentives. But those formal talks will not begin until Iran suspends uranium enrichment.

Enrichment is the part of Iran's program that most worries the West because it can have both civilian and military uses.

Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, insists it is only seeking to master technology to make electricity, and has repeatedly refused to halt its atomic work.

The six world powers are Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi, writing by Edmund Blair, edited by Richard Meares)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080805/wl_nm/iran_nuclear_dc_4

--------------------------------------------------------

U.S. calls Iran nuclear letter "obfuscation"
Tue Aug 5, 2008 4:32pm EDT

By Zahra Hosseinian and Sue Pleming

TEHRAN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran delivered a letter to world powers on Tuesday but gave no concrete reply to a demand to freeze its nuclear activity, a defiant step the United States said amounted to "obfuscation" and could lead to more sanctions.

Iran handed the letter to European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in response to an offer in June by major powers that they would refrain pursuing more U.N. penalties if Iran froze expansion of its nuclear work.

Extracts of the one-page letter obtained by Reuters showed Iran gave no firm reply to the offer but instead promised a "clear response" at an unspecified date.

"Iran is ready to provide a 'clear response' to your proposal at the earliest possibility, while simultaneously expecting to receive your 'clear response' to our questions and ambiguities as well," the letter said.

"Such mutual clarification can pave the way for a speedy and transparent negotiating process with bright prospect."

The major powers say they fear Tehran wants to build an atomic bomb. But Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, insists it is only seeking to master nuclear technology to generate electricity.

"It is more of the same from the Iranians -- obfuscation and delays," said one U.S. official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to talk about the letter. "It was not the type of response the international community was looking for."

U.S. State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos warned of "additional measures" against Iran and said the United States would join a conference call with other senior officials from China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain on Wednesday when the major powers would decide how to proceed.

Tehran has repeatedly refused to halt its atomic work, prompting the U.N. Security Council to impose three rounds of penalties on Iran since 2006. The United States also maintains its own sanctions against Iran.

Diplomats cautioned it would be difficult to pass a fourth round of Security Council sanctions against Iran because of reluctance from Russia and China, as well as Germany.

'ABSOLUTELY NOTHING'

One Western official who had seen the letter said it added "absolutely nothing" and that Tehran made no concrete proposals to resolve the impasse.

The official said the letter also failed to provide any real response to the offer from the major powers of trade, financial and diplomatic incentives in exchange for an Iranian freeze of its uranium enrichment activities.

An Iranian official had also told Reuters the letter did not address the demands by world powers.

"The letter handed over is not an answer to the offered package. The letter does not mention the freeze-for-freeze issue," the official said.

The freeze proposal was seen as a step to full negotiations. But the Iranian official said the idea also had not been raised in telephone talks on Monday between Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.

"During the call, Jalili expressed his readiness to start formal talks," the official said, adding he expected further contact between Solana and Jalili in the next few days.

The six powers have said formal talks on the incentives can start only once Iran suspends uranium enrichment, the part of the program that most worries the West because it has military and civilian uses.

In another development, a U.N. nuclear watchdog official will go to Iran on Thursday. The International Atomic Energy Agency declined to specify the purpose of the visit by Olli Heinonen, its deputy director overseeing inspections of Iran's nuclear program.

The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Monday the country could easily close the Strait of Hormuz, a key Gulf shipping route, if it were attacked over its nuclear program -- prompting a warning from the United States.

"Shutting down the straits and closing off the Persian Gulf would be a sort of a self-defeating exercise," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said on Tuesday.

"I don't think it's in Iran's interest," he told reporters. "They have a very weak economy at this point, which depends almost entirely on their oil revenue."

(Additional reporting by Ingrid Melander in Brussels, Parisa Hafezi in London and David Morgan in Washington; Writing by Edmund Blair in Tehran and Sue Pleming in Washington; Editing by Randall Mikkelsen and John O'Callaghan)

© Thomson Reuters 2008

 



 
< Prev   Next >

In Memory

Rafik Hariri
Rafik HaririIn Memory of Rafik Hariri, he rebuilt Beirut, at the time of his brutal Assassination Lebanon witnessed the birth of the Cedars Revolution
Gebran Tueni
Gebran TueniIn Memory of Gebran Tueni One of the most Prominent founders of the Cedars Revolution
Sheikh Pierre Gemayel
Sheikh Pierre GemayelIn Memory of Sheikh Pierre Gemayel Another Prominent founder of the Cedars Revolution
George Hawi
George HawiIn Memory of George Hawi another Anti-Syrian who supported the formation of the Cedars Revolution