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France Rejects Iran's Nuclear Ultimatum

VOA News 04 January 2010

France is rejecting Iran's latest effort to set the terms of a nuclear fuel deal with world powers.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told French radio Monday the international community will not accept an Iranian ultimatum on its nuclear program. He said discussions with Tehran can continue, but not about nuclear development.

Iran ignored the December 31 deadline to accept a U.N.-backed deal to enrich its uranium overseas for use in its nuclear research reactor.

On Saturday, Tehran announced that the West had one month to accept a counterproposal, or else it will begin making fuel on its own. Iran is proposing to buy fuel from the West, or exchange uranium for fuel rods in smaller batches.

The U.S. National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer says Iran is "standing in its own way" by issuing that ultimatum.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that the uranium would be used for a medical-research reactor.

Western nations believe the country is building a nuclear bomb, and are now considering tougher sanctions against Tehran.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.



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