Thursday, August 24, 2006

Iranian proposal draws more fire

The West looks likely to reject the recent Iranian nuclear proposal because it doesn't mention suspending uranium enrichment.

The diplomats variously described the reaction to the Iranian reply in the capitals of the six powers as disappointed and even angry because of the lack of response to the main demand — a freeze on enrichment, which can be used to generate energy but also to make the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

The Iranians had to know that would be the response from the four Western powers. What remains to be seen is whether they will retain support from Russia and China -- or whether those two countries are sufficiently disappointed to let sanctions or some other censure proceed.

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