May 21, 2006



From AFP: Suspension of enrichment against Iran's legitimate rights: FM.

Iran, in its first reaction to a European Union proposal aimed at resolving a nuclear standoff with the West, said suspension of uranium enrichment breached Tehran's legitimate rights.

"The suspension of nuclear activities is in contradiction with our legitimate rights," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Kuwait in response to a question on whether Tehran was prepared to suspend the enrichment during proposed negotiations.

"(This also) is not within the provisions of the (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) NTP," said Mottaki Saturday after talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah.

The EU draft proposal, prepared by Germany, Britain and France, calls on Iran to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and to continue this during negotiations.

The EU offers a package of trade, technology and security benefits if Tehran stops enriching uranium to defuse an escalating international showdown.

Mottaki said his country wants the UN Security Council to stop discussing the Iranian nuclear file "because we believe the issue has been politicised by referring it to the Security Council."

Meanwhile, from CNN: Israel: Iran 'months' from making nukes.

Iran is only months away from joining the club of nations that can make a nuclear weapon, Israel's prime minister said in a recent interview.

"The technological threshold is very close," Ehud Olmert said on CNN's "Late Edition" in an interview taped Thursday and broadcast Sunday.

"It can be measured by months rather than years."

Asked whether he believes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would halt his nation's nuclear-enrichment program under international pressure, Olmert said, "I prefer to take the necessary measures to stop it, rather than to find out later that my indifference was so dangerous."

Some observers disagree with Israel's characterization, saying Iran is five to 10 years away from being able to make a nuclear weapon.

Posted by Forkum at May 21, 2006 07:07 PM