23rd May 2019

US examining EU proposal on Iran

  • Iran is a test of EU-US co-operation (Photo: European Commission)

Washington is considering a proposal by the UK, France and Germany to offer Iran trade benefits, commercial aircraft and aircraft spare parts in return for dismantling what is suspected of being a nuclear weapons programme, according to Sunday's New York Times.

The economic incentives were outlined to US President George W. Bush by the leaders of the three countries during his visit to Europe last week.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

According to the newspaper, specific European proposals for trade benefits, spare parts and aircraft were discussed among cabinet members on Friday (25 February).

But no decision has been made on whether to give the Europeans the go ahead.

France, Germany and the UK have been pushing the diplomatic route with Iran promising trade benefits if Iran abandons its nuclear enrichment activities.

Iran's uranium enrichment facilities have been shut down since November and are under constant monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency as part of Tehran's deal with Paris, Berlin and London.

Russian deal

However, the US, which the EU increasingly feels should come on board for the talks to be effective, has to date not ruled out military intervention in Iran.

It believes Tehran's energy programme is a front for making nuclear weapons.

"A green light from the United States would add a lot of leverage to our capacity to negotiate with the Iranians", said a high-level EU diplomat quoted by the New York Times.

The revelations came on the same day as Russia signed an agreement with Iran on providing fuel for a civilian nuclear power plant in exchange for its promise to return the spent fuel.

The deal was signed at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant on the Gulf coast by the Iranian vice-president, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, and Alexander Rumyantsev, head of the Russian atomic energy agency.

According to the Washington Post, evidence of Tehran's nuclear ambitions is growing.


Leaked details of an International Atomic Energy Agency inquiry show that Iran was offered the knowledge needed to make a nuclear bomb by the rogue Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan as early as 1987.

Officials told the Washington Post that Iran bought centrifuge designs and a starter kit for uranium enrichment at a meeting with Dr Khan in Dubai.

"The offer is the strongest indication to date that Iran had a nuclear weapons programme, but it doesn't prove it completely", a diplomat told the Washington Post.

However, the details have not stopped Tehran from pressurising Europe.

Iran’s threats

In an interview with several newspapers in Berlin, the head of Iran's national security council said Tehran would break off the talks if there is no positive progress.

"If, in the middle of March, we decide that progress has been made, then we can continue", said Rohani Hassan. If that is not the case, then Iran "will not proceed" with the talks, he added.

These statements are putting President Jacques Chirac, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Prime Minister Tony Blair under intense pressure.

However, they are not the only ones coming under pressure. Russia's moves to sell nuclear fuel to Iran has prompted calls by the powerful US senator John McCain for Russia to be excluded from the G8 talks in Scotland at the beginning of July.


EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

EU urges US not to start war with Iran

Europe's top diplomats have said US actions risked triggering a conflict with Iran, as America makes plans to pour troops into Middle East in echoes of Iraq war.

EU-Sahel talks next week amid 'unprecedented attacks'

Officials from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger are meeting EU foreign, defence, and development ministers next week in Brussels. The visit comes amid "unprecedented levels" of armed attacks, says the UN.

News in Brief

  1. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  2. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal
  3. UK sacked defence secretary backs Johnson for leader
  4. Dutch voter turnout so far slightly down on 2014
  5. Report: Hungary's Fidesz 'bought' Belgian official
  6. Poll: Denmark set to double number of liberal MEPs
  7. European brands 'breaking' chemical safety rules
  8. Report: Merkel was lobbied to accept EU top job


EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Polling booths open in UK's limbo EU election
  2. Dutch PM puts EU exit on agenda with election gamble
  3. EU development aid used to put European police in Senegal
  4. EU should stop an insane US-Iran war
  5. EU faces moment of truth at midnight on Sunday
  6. Dutch MPs: EU sanctions should bear Magnitsky name
  7. Far-right hate speech flooded Facebook ahead of EU vote
  8. Key details on how Europeans will vote

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us