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NEWS: Iran / Europe Nuclear Deal May Be Collapsing

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posted on Nov, 12 2004 @ 12:52 PM
Despite a promising start, the negotiations between 3 European countries and Iran over its nuclear program appear to be on the verge of collapsing. Diplomats from the European contingent are suggesting that Tehran had reneged on parts of the tentative deal that was announced last weekend. The IAEA has withheld a report pending the outcome of the negotiations. It was hoped that the agency could include the deal as part of its presentation on Iran’s program. The deal breaker appears to be the issue of uranium enrichment. To date, Iran has not violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty with its activities but has come under intense world pressure to stop them.
VIENNA, Austria - A deal committing Iran to suspend activities that Washington says are part of a nuclear arms program was close to collapse Friday, with diplomats suggesting that Tehran had reneged on an agreement reached with European negotiators just days ago.

As envoys for both sides tried to salvage the deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency delayed a report on Iran's nuclear activities that had been scheduled for limited circulation Friday.

A diplomat familiar with the IAEA said the delay was meant to give the two sides a chance to resolve the dispute and allow agency head Mohamed ElBaradei to include in his report an Iranian commitment to full suspension of uranium enrichment and related activities.

The IAEA overview on nearly two decades of clandestine activities that the United States asserts is a secret weapons program is being prepared for review by the agency's 35-nation board of governors when it meets Nov. 25. Based on the report, they will decide on possible referral of Iran to the U.N. Security Council, which could call for sanctions.

After ending talks in Paris with Iranian envoys last weekend, European diplomats said there was tentative agreement on the part of Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment — which can be used to make nuclear arms — and all related activities.

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This presents a thorny problem. Iran has not violated any laws as of yet with its desire to enrich uranium. Despite its claims that it is a peaceful program doubts remain about its intentions in this area. It’s a national pride issue for the Iranians, so it may be difficult to get them to back down. This also represent a big failure for the three European nations in the diplomacy arena. Im not pointing fingers, but if they are unable to seal the deal its going to fall to the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council does not have a good track record of resolving disputes. The other wildcard is Israel. How would the Arab world react to an unprovoked strike by the IAF at the Iranian reactors? Not well im sure.

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