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Europeans Reportedly Offer Light-Water Reactor To Iran

Iranian President Khatami insists his country's nuclear ambitions are peaceful (file photo) 20 October 2004 -- Three European countries will offer to support Iranian construction of a light-water nuclear reactor as part of a deal aimed at persuading that country to stop enriching uranium, international news agencies report.

The reports quote officials as saying the offer will be presented by Britain, France, and Germany during talks with Iranian officials in Vienna tomorrow.

Nuclear experts say light-water reactors provide little help in the development of atomic weapons. The United States has accused Iran of a covert program to develop nuclear weapons, a charge that the Islamic republic has denied.

Tomorrow's meeting comes in advance of a 25 November session of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has demanded that Iran freeze its uranium-enrichment activities, which can produce fuel for civilian reactors or for nuclear weapons.

The United States is seeking UN Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.