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Iran nuclear: Italian minister urgest halt to uranium enrichment

last update: May 24, 11:26

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Washington, 24 May (AKI) - Italys' foreign minister Giulio Terzi has called on Iran to halt its disputed nuclear programme as world powers demand.

"Iran should respect the various resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Counci and stop enriching uranium," Terzi told the US TV channel Fox News.

Italy had played a leading role in getting tougher European Union sanctions approved against Tehran, Terzi noted. These include an oil embargo due to take effect on 1 July.

A second day of talks between Iran and world powers began Thursday amid fading hopes that these latest negotiations would help ease tensions over Iran's nuclear enrichment programme.

Talks continued until nearly midnight Wednesday at a guesthouse in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone between chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili and representatives of six world powers: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

The six world powers have presented proposals to Iran that ask it to immediately give up some of the most sensitive parts of its nuclear programme, including production of a more purified type of enriched uranium that can be easily converted into weapons-grade fuel.

Iran also is being asked to ship abroad its stockpile of this 20 percent enriched uranium and eventually shut down a new enrichment plant built into a mountainside near the city of Qom, where much of Iran’s 20 percent enriched uranium is being made beyond the reach of conventional airstrikes.

In return, Iran would receive fuel plates for its research reactor in Tehran, safety advice and equipment for the Tehran reactor and its nuclear power station in Bushehr, and would be able to buy spare parts for its civilian airliners, currently blocked by sanctions.

The proposals are aimed at easing Western concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions while offering Tehran a path toward eventual relief from Western sanctions.


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