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Stop enriching Uranium, and we will share nuclear know-how, EU tells Iran

The European Union will share its most sophisticated nuclear technologies with Iran, if Iran ends its uranium enrichment programme, decided foreign ministers from the EU Member States on 15 May. The conclusions from the EU's External Relations Council state that the EU 'wou...

The European Union will share its most sophisticated nuclear technologies with Iran, if Iran ends its uranium enrichment programme, decided foreign ministers from the EU Member States on 15 May. The conclusions from the EU's External Relations Council state that the EU 'would be prepared to support Iran's development of a safe, sustainable and proliferation-proof civilian nuclear programme, if international concerns were fully addressed and confidence in Iran's intentions established. The EU hopes that Iran will not fail to take up such an offer.' Javier Solana, High Representative for the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, spoke more directly in a press conference following the meeting. 'We could help you [Iran] with the best and most sophisticated technology,' he said, revealing that this new offer will go further than the package of incentives offered in August 2005. Details of the new offer will be announced soon, following consultations with the US, Russia and China. Although the full details of the proposal are not yet known, Iranian newspapers are already reporting that the deal will be rejected by Iran's government. 'Any request for a suspension or pause [of enrichment] is illogical and unacceptable and would undoubtedly be rejected,' the Iran Focus reports Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying. 'The recent achievements by the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding enrichment and nuclear know-how and technology are obvious and irreversible,' a statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry added. The Council also regretted that Iran has failed to comply with demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board and the UN Security Council, as well as Iran's 'threats to maintain this failure into the future'. The foreign ministers emphasised that the Council remains 'committed to finding a diplomatic solution', but added that if the EU is unable to develop relations with Iran based on confidence and cooperation, 'The alternative is that Iran chooses further isolation.' The Council also discussed a series of topics under the European Security and Defence Policy, including the European Defence Agency, and in particular the research and technology (R&T) aspects of the Agency. The conclusions noted: the proposed targets for increasing Europe's spending, overall and on collaboration; the way forward on launching ad hoc R&T projects; the approach to develop a European Defence R&T Strategy; and the proposal for a new mechanism for funding and managing joint investment in R&T programmes.

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