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Despite EU doubts, US trying to restart nuclear dialogue with Iran

Tehran demands UN condemn Israel for alleged nukes

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Despite EU doubts, US trying to restart nuclear dialogue with Iran

While European leaders are expressing grave doubts that Iran is serious about renewed dialogue over its renegade nuclear program, the Obama administration is reportedly pushing to revive a failed deal for Tehran to send some of its nuclear stockpile overseas in exchange for assistance with peaceful nuclear technology.

Senior US officials told The Wall Street Journal that Washington’s aim is to try to reduce Tehran's ability to quickly produce an atomic weapon. To that end, the US is accelerating its efforts to present Iran with a new offer as part of broader talks on Iran's nuclear program planned for Vienna next month, the first direct negotiation between American and Iranian officials on the nuclear issue in more than a year.

US officials have been talking with allies about ways to expand the original fuel-swap deal to remove more of the stockpile, because Iran has been enriching more uranium since the previous talks broke down. Instead of 1,200 kilograms discussed then, Iran would need to agree to release or secure at least 50% more, or 1,800 kg., to stay below bomb-making levels, according to nuclear experts.

The renewed effort comes as a senior EU official on Wednesday said that European governments are running out of patience with Iran.

"It is now more than a year since there was any serious conversation with the Iranians, and that is frankly ridiculous and leads to a good deal of frustration on our part," the EU source complained. "I know this is shared by the Russians and the Chinese."

Iranian officials have repeatedly put off efforts by EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton to reconvene nuclear talks, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast announcing on Tuesday that a proposal to start a new round in Vienna on November 15 was being “evaluated.” He denounced Western efforts to put “unjust, unfair, and illogical pressure” on Iran over its supposedly peaceful atomic program.

Meantime, Iranian Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaei tried to deflect attention away from his nation on Wednesday by demanding that the UN Security Council condemn Israel for its presumed possession of nuclear weapons.

"Adoption of a resolution at the committees of the UN General Assembly in condemnation of nuclear weapons of the Zionist regime shows the international community's call that the Security Council should pay heed to it," Khazaei told the Iranian IRIB news website. "Officials of the Zionist regime are not committed to any international regulations. This has led to an international consensus against measures of the regime."

Khazaei cited a meeting of the Non Proliferation Treaty signatory countries in May which passed a resolution that stressed "the importance of Israel's accession to the treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards."

 

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