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EU Agrees to Help Iran Develop Civilian Nuclear Power

  • VOA News

The European Union says it is ready to offer Iran the most sophisticated civilian nuclear technology as part of an incentives package aimed at persuading Tehran to stop enriching uranium.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana discussed the offer during a news conference after EU foreign ministers held talks in Brussels Monday on Iran.

Solana said the technology will help Iran build nuclear power plants. He added if Tehran rejects the offer, it will mean it wants something different.

On Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tehran will reject any European offer that requires an end to Iran's nuclear activities.

The United States and its European allies have been pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution that would oblige Iran to stop enriching uranium.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan has offered to mediate between the United States and Iran in the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program.

Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta made the offer in an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. Spanta said he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai plan to travel to Iran later this month to see if they can help bring a peaceful solution to the conflict.

And U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for a quick and peaceful end to disputes over nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.

Western powers say they suspect Iran is using its nuclear research as a cover for developing an atomic bomb -- a charge Tehran denies. North Korea says it has nuclear bombs and that it is making more, despite past pledges not to develop such weapons.

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