Iran Nuclear NewsRussia denies new Iran nuclear standoff proposal

Russia denies new Iran nuclear standoff proposal

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Reuters: Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied on Tuesday that Russia has a new proposal to curb Iran’s nuclear programs, a day after Washington rejected an idea to allow Tehran atomic research that diplomats said Moscow had floated. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied on Tuesday that Russia has a new proposal to curb Iran’s nuclear programs, a day after Washington rejected an idea to allow Tehran atomic research that diplomats said Moscow had floated.

“There is no compromise new proposal,” Lavrov said at a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington.

Rice underscored the point. “The Russians did not tell us of any new proposal that they have made to the Iranians,” she said.

Russia has held talks with Iran seeking to end a standoff between Iran and the West that would head off a U.S. drive for the U.N. Security Council to take action this month against Tehran for failing to dispel suspicions it wants a nuclear bomb.

A U.S. official, who was briefed on Moscow’s idea, said Russia did want to find a face-saving way for Iran to agree to refrain from enriching uranium on an industrial scale while conducting small-scale research.

But the U.S. opposition — on the grounds Iran could use any research to master technology to build bombs — stopped Russia from making its idea a formal proposal, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous because Moscow did not make the idea public.

“If the regime were allowed to pursue any sort of enrichment-related activity on its own soil it could use the technology developed in a clandestine way to develop nuclear weapons. That is simply not acceptable given the regime’s history and its continued defiance,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

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