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Chirac changes tack on Iran

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Chirac changes tack on Iran


A crack has been opened in the West’s position on Iran and its nuclear programme, by France’s President Chirac. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a visit to Venezulea, said this weekend he would be happy to resume negotiations on the issue, but only if his country was not taken before the UN Security Council, where it could face sanctions.

On Monday Chirac became the first European leader to suggest that negotiations could resume without Iran abandoning nuclear enrichment, and that the Security Council should not put Iran on the agenda for its upcoming meeting. Chirac did add it would be “preferable” if Iran stopped enrichment for the duration of the talks.

Iran is currently pursuing a nuclear enrichment programme, to produce fuel for electricity generation it says.

America in particular fears this is just an umbrella under which Iran will try to make nuclear bombs. The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA meets again in Vienna tonight. The UN’s annual General Assembly opens tomorrow.

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