U.S. Eases Demands on Iran

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - U.S. President Barack Obama notched up his campaign promise to open dialogue with Iran "without preconditions" by agreeing to allow Iran to continue enriching uranium during talks about its nuclear program, according to a report in The New York Times.

The concept is the opposite of the Bush administration's insistence that Iran halt its enrichment program as a prerequisite to dialogue.

The Obama administration and its European allies have been drafting a proposal that would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium "for some period during the talks," which would "draw Iran into nuclear talks that it had so far shunned."

"We have all agreed that [ceasing its nuclear program] is simply not going to work," one senior European official working with the Obama administration said.

"Experience tells us the Iranians are not going to buy it so we are going to start with some interim steps to build a little trust," he said.

According to administration officials, the U.S. would insist at some point that Iran cease enriching uranium in line with a number of UN Security Council resolutions.

"Our goal remains exactly what it has been in the UN resolutions: suspension," one U.S. official said.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) said the U.S. administration had not shared the details of the new proposal with him.

Calling the Bush administration's approach "ridiculous," ElBaradei said Iran can produce enough enriched uranium to manufacture nearly two bombs a year with the 5,500 centrifuges it has already built.

"You have to design an approach that is sensitive to Iran's pride," the IAEA director general said.

Source: The New York Times

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