By Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor
BRITAIN and Germany gave Iran a final chance yesterday to co-operate over its nuclear programme or face the prospect of sanctions.
Two days before a key meeting in Vienna, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and Joschka Fischer, his German counterpart, said that Iran was running out of time.
Tomorrow senior British, French and German diplomats meet Hassan Rohani, secretary-general of Irans Supreme National Security Council, to offer a compromise. They are expected to propose incentives to Tehran, such as helping its civilian nuclear programme, expanding economic ties and enhancing co-operation with Brussels. In return they want Iran to declare its nuclear capabilities and stop its uranium enrichment programme, which they suspect is part of a plan to build an atomic bomb.
Without agreement by the next meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agencys board of governors on November 25, the Europeans are threatening to back Americas position and go to the Security Council. Tehran could then face isolation and sanctions.
Iran has yet to give us the confidence we need about its intentions, Mr Straw said. We cannot go on indefinitely, but Iran could give us that confidence by an indefinite suspension of its enrichment and processing activities.