Iran Nuclear NewsIran is given more time to end uranium enrichment

Iran is given more time to end uranium enrichment

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New York Times: The United States has agreed, once again, to extend the “weeks, not months” deadline that it set in June for Iran to stop uranium enrichment or face Security Council sanctions. The new deadline: early October. The New York Times

By HELENE COOPER
Published: September 22, 2006

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 21 — The United States has agreed, once again, to extend the “weeks, not months” deadline that it set in June for Iran to stop uranium enrichment or face Security Council sanctions. The new deadline: early October.

A senior Bush administration official said Thursday that foreign ministers from the six world powers seeking to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions decided Tuesday night to give Iran a little more time to comply with their demand. Iran missed an Aug. 31 deadline for suspending enrichment, and the United States is pushing for a new measure imposing travel bans and asset freezes on Iranian officials.

European officials urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to allow more time for the European Union diplomat Javier Solana to continue talks with Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, and she agreed, United States and European officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity under diplomatic rules.

The new deadline was first reported Thursday in The Washington Post.

At a news conference at the United Nations on Thursday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said talks were “moving on the right path,” but Iran was seeking “guarantees” and a “framework” because it had “bitter experiences’’ with unfulfilled promises by the West.

He held out the slight possibility that Iran might agree at some point to end nuclear activities. “We have said that under fair conditions and just conditions, we will negotiate about it, under fair and just conditions,” he said. “We will tell you when the time arrives.”

He added: “The bottom line is we do not need the bomb. Some think that bombs can be effective in international relations, but we know that these nuclear arsenals will not benefit anyone.”

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