West may drop demand for Iran to halt all nuclear work: EU minister
Brussels: Western governments are considering allowing Iran to continue some uranium enrichment, as part of a possible deal to resolve a decade-old dispute that Tehran says it wants to reach within six months, a senior EU diplomat said.
The new stance - a reaction to President Hassan Rowhani`s overtures to the West - would mean easing a long-standing demand that Iran suspend all enrichment, due to concerns Tehran could be developing nuclear weapons.
In an interview with Reuters, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said: "I believe part of the game is that if the Iranians prove that whatever they are doing is peaceful, it will, as I understand, be possible for them to conduct it."
"It`s conditional. It is not a done deal, but nevertheless it is a possibility to explore," he said. "Thanks to this rapprochement. How it will look, we don`t know."
Lithuania holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until the end of this year, giving Linkevicius a closer insight into many internal policy debates.
A series of UN Security Council resolutions call on Iran to halt enrichment. One of them demands "full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities."
Iran has refused to comply, saying its membership of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) gives it the right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology. That refusal has drawn several rounds of UN and Western sanctions.
Rowhani, a relative moderate elected in June, has reiterated Iran`s insistence that it does not seek nuclear weapons, but has promised to clear up international concerns, hoping for an easing of sanctions that have hit its ability to export oil.
Western diplomats are cautious about the rapprochement, saying Iran has yet to offer any concrete proposals.
But, privately, many acknowledge that Tehran would likely need to be allowed to keep some lower-level enrichment activity as part of a broader political settlement, as long as U.N. inspectors were allowed sufficient oversight powers.
Israel, which says the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is a threat to its existence, is insistent that nothing short of an end to enrichment is acceptable.
In a series of negotiations since April last year, six world powers have told Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent fissile purity - a level that closes an important technological gap towards making weapons-grade material.
That demand will not change, diplomats say. But, in theory, Iran could be allowed to continue lower-level enrichment, up to 5 percent, to produce fuel suitable for nuclear power plants.
The next round of the talks between Iran and the six world powers, will be held in Geneva on October 15-16.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- Unidentified flying objects spotted over Mumbai airport not motorised: Home Department
- Militants kill five, target telecoms in Kashmir attacks
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened