Iran Nuclear NewsIran's Khatami Says Halting Nuclear Program Is 'Unacceptable'

Iran’s Khatami Says Halting Nuclear Program Is ‘Unacceptable’

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Bloomberg: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, said it’s “unacceptable” for the Islamic republic to halt its nuclear enrichment program as demanded by the EU and U.S. Iran is building a heavy-water nuclear reactor that it says is for generating electricity. It has rejected calls by the U.S. for it to abandon the program. Bloomberg

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, said it’s “unacceptable” for the Islamic republic to halt its nuclear enrichment program as demanded by the EU and U.S.

Iran is building a heavy-water nuclear reactor that it says is for generating electricity. It has rejected calls by the U.S. for it to abandon the program. France, the U.K. and Germany have been seeking to end the program through negotiations, and the U.S. last week agreed to join the European Union nations in offering Iran economic incentives in order to do so.

“Negotiations with the Europeans continue,” Khatami told reporters in Isfahan, Iran, where members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are meeting. “What is unacceptable is the cessation of the nuclear enrichment program.”

Iran has been criticized by the UN atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, for failing to cooperate fully with the body’s inspectors. IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei today said there is a “confidence deficit” between Iran and nuclear inspectors and EU negotiators. Iran needs to be more transparent about its nuclear program over the past 20 years, he said.

While Iran’s “pattern of cooperation has improved dramatically” in recent years, “they’re not showing the kind of transparency that I would like to see,” ElBaradei said. EU negotiators need to be sure “the chapters of the past have been closed,” he said, referring to Iran’s 20-year nuclear program.

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