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Iran Says EU Nuclear Proposal Unacceptable

24 October 2004 -- Iran today turned down a European proposal that it stop enriching uranium in return for nuclear technology.

Diplomats had said that if Iran rejected the proposal, most EU countries would back a U.S. demand that Tehran be reported to the UN Security Council for possible economic sanctions when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meets on 25 November.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said in Tehran today that the EU proposal is unbalanced. He said unlimited uranium suspension is unacceptable for Iran.

Washington accuses Iran of using its nuclear program as a veil for developing an atomic arsenal. Tehran says it only wants to generate electricity.

French, British, and German officials are to meet Iranian negotiators on 27 October to discuss the European offer.

The three countries have led a European effort at compromise that would avoid sending Iran's case to the UN Security Council.