AFP: The White House on Thursday again said that any talks with Iran depend on the Islamic republic suspending its uranium enrichment program. WASHINGTON, Sept 14, 2006 (AFP) – The White House on Thursday again said that any talks with Iran depend on the Islamic republic suspending its uranium enrichment program.
“We can’t be any more clear about this; suspend enrichment and reprocessing activities and we’ll talk,” White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters.
Snow was reacting to Iranian foreign ministry spokesman’s call on Thursday that the United States “be a little patient to prove its honesty on welcoming talks under the current circumstances.”
The United States, which charges that Iran is engaged in secret work to make nuclear weapons, is pushing for United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran for failing to honor a Council resolution that set an August 31 deadline for Tehran to halt uranium enrichment.
The process makes fuel for nuclear power stations but can be extended to form the core of an atomic bomb. The sponsors of the Council resolution are concerned that Iran is using its self-declared civilian nuclear program to mask a nuclear weapons effort.
Iran’s main nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, had offered to consider a temporary halt in uranium enrichment in talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Vienna last Saturday, diplomats said.
But they noted that this was only an offer to consider a halt, not to implement it, and that there were conditions attached such as the UN ceasing action against Iran which made it unacceptable to the West.