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The E-U And Iran

According to the Reuters news service, French foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei says there will be no talks on August 31st with Iranian government officials about Iran's nuclear program. "By common accord between the three Europeans [France, Germany, and Britain]," Mr. Mattei is quoted as saying, "it is clear that there will be no negotiations meeting. . . .as long as the Iranians remain outside the Paris agreement."

Under the 2004 Paris agreement, Iran agreed to halt uranium conversion and enrichment activities. Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons. Earlier this month, in a breach of that accord, the Iranian government resumed uranium-conversion work at its nuclear facility in Isfahan. It also rejected European proposals to limit its nuclear program in exchange for economic and other incentives.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says that the United States and Europe have the same view of Iran's nuclear program:

"Our concerns, as well as the concerns of the international community and the E-U-3 center on Iran's activities in pursuit of a nuclear weapon under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. And specifically, our concerns focus on Iran's having access to the nuclear fuel cycle, the technologies and know-how associated with it."

Greg Schulte is the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A. He says that Iran's rejection of the European Union proposals and resumption of uranium-conversion show that "the Iranian leadership is determined. . . .to develop a nuclear weapons capability." Such a goal, says Mr. Schulte, "poses a threat to international peace and security. Imagine a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that so boldly flaunts its international obligations, that actively supports international terrorism, and that actively opposes the Middle East peace process. Iran," he says, "must step away from this dangerous path."

The I-A-E-A is scheduled to report on Iran's nuclear activities in September. At that time, it could refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council for possible action.

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