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Iran Faces Choice On Nuclear Issue


Representatives of Iran and the European Union are scheduled to hold further discussions about Iran's nuclear program on April 29th.

The European Union is trying to convince Iran to give up permanently its uranium-enrichment program and other programs that could allow Iran to make fissile material, which can be used to make a nuclear weapon. Enriched-uranium can be used as fuel in electricity-producing nuclear power plants or to manufacture nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly said it will never agree permanently to stop enriching uranium.

The United States and other nations believe that oil-and-gas-rich Iran is developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian energy program. U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli says, "Iran faces a choice:"

"They are being given an opportunity through the EU-3 [Germany, France and Britain] to…satisfy the concerns of the international community, come clean about their program, and embark on a pathway toward international acceptance and integration in the international community. That's choice number one, and we certainly think it's in Iran's interest, and it's certainly in all of our interest for them to choose that path. The other path is walking away from dialogue, walking away from engagement, walking away from international commitments…and cutting off dialogue with the EU-3, and walking away from cooperation with international institutions that have legitimate questions that they haven't answered."

If Iran does choose to walk away from dialogue with the Europeans, said Mr. Ereli, the consequences will be an "exacerbation of suspicions" and "further international isolation."

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Iran's clerical rulers "have an obligation to show the world that they intend to live up to their international obligations not to try to get a nuclear weapon under the cover of civilian nuclear power…No one wants to see an Iranian nuclear weapon," says Secretary of State Rice, "particularly in the Middle East, which is already a terribly troubled region."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.

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