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Iran says EU offer must allow uranium enrichment

Written by: Staff
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TEHRAN, May 11 (Reuters) Proposals being drawn up by European states on Iran's nuclear programme must allow Iran to enrich uranium for atomic research and development purposes, a senior Iranian official said today.

Three European countries -- Britain, France and Germany -- are drawing up a package of incentives to offer Iran in return for cooperating with U.N. demands to rein in its nuclear ambitions.

UN demands include a call to halt uranium enrichment on Iranian territory.

''In any new proposal or package, including the EU's future proposal, suspending Iran's basic rights, including suspension of enrichment at the level of research and development, is unacceptable,'' Hossein Entezami, spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council, told the semi-official Mehr News Agency.

''Accepting such proposals would depend on Iran's case being sent back to the (International Atomic Energy) Agency.'' Iran has been hauled before the UN Security Council, which can impose sanctions, for failing to convince the world that its nuclear programme is civilian as Tehran insists and not military as the West suspects.

Tehran has said it will only offer further cooperation to the IAEA if its case is referred back to the UN nuclear watchdog.

''Regarding the EU proposal that seeks to offer Iran security and economic incentives, we have not received any proposal, but as Tehran believes in finding diplomatic solutions, it basically believes that such proposals could be reviewed and discussed, but -- of course -- if Iran's rights are respected,'' Entezami said.

REUTERS CH KN2350

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