AFP: France said Monday it hoped Iran would seize an offer for economic and nuclear cooperation in exchange for an end to its nuclear programme. PARIS, Aug 21, 2006 (AFP) – France said Monday it hoped Iran would seize an offer for economic and nuclear cooperation in exchange for an end to its nuclear programme.
“We hope, along with the United Nations Secretary General (Kofi Annan), and as Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy has said several times, that Iran will seize the offer made to it,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Agnes Romatet-Espagne, said.
“It is premature to speculate on what response it will give,” she said, noting that Iran has a deadline of Tuesday to reply to the June 6 proposition made by the five UN Security Council permanent members (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) and Germany.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said defiantly Monday his country would press on with its nuclear work.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes but the United States and other Western countries believe the Islamic republic is keen on developing nuclear weapons.
The offer made to Tehran provides for nuclear and economic cooperation, for instance in the building of light-water nuclear reactors and support for Iran to join the World Trade Organisation.
But the condition attached is that Iran cease uranium enrichment activities and enlarge its cooperatop, with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The threat of UN sanctions has been evoked if Iran does not halt such activities by August 31.