Ahmadinejad can take his time – EU in no rush
Photo: AFP

EU awaits Iran nuclear reply, not in hurry

Europe: We won't make big fuss over delayed response to nuke offer; Iran: We'll stand up to foes

The clock is ticking for Iran to respond to an offer by major powers on its nuclear program, but European diplomats say they are ready to wait a few more days beyond Saturday's informal deadline for an answer.


Major powers asked Iran on July 19 to respond within two weeks to their offer to hold off from imposing more UN. Sanctions if Tehran froze expansion of its nuclear work. Iran has dismissed the idea of having a deadline to reply.


Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Islamic Republic would "stand against" Its enemies.


"Whenever the enemies have failed against this nation they have tried to make excuses, but the Iranian nation will stand against them with its power," he said, without elaborating.


'We are continuing double approach'  

EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana - who leads nuclear talks with Iran for the six major powers - will not declare Iran has missed the deadline if it does not reply by Saturday, EU diplomats said, but the West wants a reply in the next week.


"One should not focus too much on Saturday," one EU official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If it's not Saturday but next week, we'll not make a big fuss about it. What matters is to get a clear answer quickly, in the very coming days."


An EU diplomat said: "We are continuing our double approach of dialogue and pressure. If dialogue does not work, we could continue with additional pressure ... at the UN or EU level."


Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, in Washington, said Iran was heading for a major breakthrough in its nuclear program.


"As soon as 2010 (Iran) will have the option to reach (uranium production) at military levels," he told an audience at the Washington Institute.


פרסום ראשון: 08.01.08, 20:42
 new comment
This will delete your current comment