AFP: EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, leading talks to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium, said Thursday that creating an “international enrichment centre” could help resolve nuclear disputes. BRUSSELS (AFP) EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, leading talks to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium, said Thursday that creating an “international enrichment centre” could help resolve nuclear disputes.
“The only way to resolve these problems in a lasting way is via a multilateral solution, via the creation of an international enrichment centre under multilateral supervision,” he said in a speech released in Brussels.
“All states would have access to enriched fuel under fair conditions and at competitive prices,” he said in the speech, delivered at a Madrid institute.
He underlined that the present nuclear control system, based on a “subtle balance” between non-proliferation, technological transfers and disarmament, is under threat.
“The problem comes from the perception of many countries that there is an imbalance between these three elements,” the EU’s top diplomat said.
He said they think that nations with atomic weapons “do not respect their promises not to transfer nuclear technology or on giving up at least part of their arsenal.”
Solana said that rising oil prices and climate change had made nuclear energy an alternative that “every country wants to have”.
He cited recent decisions by Egypt, Jordan and Morocco to launch “ambitious nuclear programmes which would have been unthinkable just two years ago.”
The problem was that nuclear development had a “double usage”, civilian and military, and that “transparency and confidence are essential”.
Solana has been trying since June last year, in the name of major world powers, to convince Iran to resume talks on suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for a package of political and economic incentives.
Despite UN sanctions against it, the Islamic republic says its nuclear programme is purely for energy generation and refuses to suspend enrichment, which at highly refined levels also can be used to build a bomb.