Daily Telegraph: France's foreign minister, Michel Barnier, insisted yesterday that Iran must assure the world that it does not plan to acquire atomic weapons as European nations lost patience with Teheran over its nuclear programme. Daily Telegraph

France's foreign minister, Michel Barnier, insisted yesterday that Iran must assure the world that it does not plan to acquire atomic weapons as European nations lost patience with Teheran over its nuclear programme.

Diplomats close to negotiations in which Britain, France, and Germany are trying to persuade Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment programme said the Europeans might soon be ready to support American demands to refer it to the United Nations Security Council.

Iran said this week it had begun processing raw uranium to prepare it for enrichment, a process that can be used to develop nuclear bombs.

Mr Barnier said Iran urgently needed to reassure the world about its nuclear programme, which Teheran says is purely for nuclear energy.