[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 15:52 GMT
EU weighs Iranian nuclear reply
The main control room at Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr
Iran insists it has complied with all international inspection demands
Iranian negotiators have responded to a deal struck with EU nations last week about the Islamic state's nuclear programme, reports say.

Britain, France and Germany have been trying to broker a deal that would see Iran suspend plans to enrich uranium.

Iranian news agencies in the capital Tehran reported that Iran had accepted the main points of the deal, but wants clarification over some issues.

France's foreign ministry said the EU states were "analysing" the response.

They tell us to suspend enrichment, but it is none of your business
Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri
Senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran insists that it needs to enrich uranium as part of a civilian nuclear programme, but the US claims it is using the programme as a front to develop nuclear weapons.

Successful uranium enrichment could be seen as a key stage in the development of weapons-grade nuclear material.

Tehran defiant

Iran delivered its response to the deal late on Thursday, a spokesman for the French foreign ministry told the AFP news agency.

He gave no details about the nature of Iran's response.

In Tehran, an unnamed government official said there would be "no more negotiations in Tehran because the Europeans must now decide on the Iranian response," the student news agency Isna reported.

URANIUM ENRICHMENT
Aim to increase proportion of uranium-235
2-3% uranium-235 needed to use in nuclear reactor
Weapons-grade uranium must contain 90% u-235
Uranium gas usually spun in centrifuge to enrich
Countries with centrifuges are Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Iran, Netherlands, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, UK
Influential figures in Iran on Friday repeated calls for Iran not to bow to European demands.

"They tell us to suspend enrichment, but it is none of your business," Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri, the top adviser to Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told a Friday prayer meeting.

Influential former President Hashemi Rafsanjani told worshippers a solution was possible "if the Europeans are fair".

The EU states have been pushing Iran to halt plans to enrich more than 30 metric tons of uranium, in line with a resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency in September.

Officials in Tehran have so far resisted foreign pressure, but if it fails to agree to the suspension by 25 November the IAEA may report Iran to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose economic sanctions on Iran.

The IAEA was scheduled on Friday to release a report on Iran's compliance with the September resolution, but delayed its release while the EU states weighed up Tehran's response to the deal, Reuters news agency reported.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific