Iran proposal not adequate on nuclear dispute, says US


Washington : The US Thursday criticised Iran’s proposal for resolving the long-standing nuclear dispute, saying it failed to address the key issues that have put Tehran at odds with much of the international community.

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State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Iran’s offer, submitted Wednesday, was “not really responsive to our greatest concern, which is obviously Iran’s nuclear programme”.

“Iran reiterated its view that, as far as it is concerned, its nuclear file is closed,” Crowley said. “That is certainly not the case. There are many outstanding issues.”

Exact details of the proposal have not been released. Crowley said the five members of the UN Security Council – the US, China, Russia, France and Britain – plus Germany were considering a formal response. Officials from the six countries held a conference call Wednesday and would hold another one Friday.

Iran has long insisted that its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes. It has refused to halt uranium enrichment activities despite three UN Security Council resolutions.

Iran submitted its package of proposals to the six countries as the head of the UN-backed nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said there was a “high probability” that Iran had tried to develop nuclear weapons in the past.

The US envoy to the IAEA, Glyn Davies, said Tehran may already have enough enriched uranium for one atomic bomb.

Crowley said the US remained open to direct talks with the Iranians. Discussions with the other five powers involved in the talks would in part be aimed at testing “how ready Iran is to actually engage,” he said.

The last meeting between Iran and the so-called 5+1 group was held in July 2008 in Geneva.