Saturday, February 6, 2010

West Skeptical on Nuclear Deal with Iran

US and European officials today voiced doubt that a deal with Iran on swapping its low-enriched uranium is close. On Friday, Iran’s foreign minister told Munich Security Conference that prospect for clinching such deal was good.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in Ankara on Saturday that he did not have a sense the two sides were close to an agreement.

“If they are prepared to take up the original proposal of the P-5 plus one of delivering 12,000 kilograms of their low enriched uranium all at once to an agreed party, I think there would be a response to that.

“But the reality is they have done nothing to reassure the international community they are prepared… to stop their progress towards a nuclear weapon, and therefore I think various nations need to think about whether the time has come for a different tack,” Gates added.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also said at Munich Conference that Iran had so far failed to dispel Western skepticism that it was prepared to make meaningful concessions over its nuclear program.

"Our hand is still reaching out towards them. But so far it's reaching out into nothingness… And I've seen nothing since yesterday that makes me want to change that view," Westerwelle said.

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