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Israel expects the EU to do its utmost to put a "united face" on international efforts to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear program, senior officials in Jerusalem said Tuesday in response to an internal EU document pessimistic of the ability of diplomatic efforts to keep Iran from developing a bomb.
The Financial Times reported Tuesday that the document, compiled by the staff of Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief, said that the Iranian nuclear program was delayed by technical limitations rather than diplomatic pressure.
"Attempts to engage the Iranian administration in a negotiating process have not so far succeeded," the document read.
"At some stage we must expect that Iran will acquire the capacity to enrich uranium on the scale required for a weapons program," says the paper, dated February 7 and circulated to the EU's 27 national governments before a foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on Monday.
"In practice . . . the Iranians have pursued their program at their own pace, the limiting factor being technical difficulties rather than resolutions by the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency," the document stated. "The problems with Iran will not be resolved through economic sanctions alone."
The Financial Times report came a day after the EU's foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels approved plans to uniformly implement regulations imposing the UN sanctions. These sanctions, agreed upon by the UN Security Council in December, include a prohibition on selling material to Iran that could be used in Iran's nuclear or missile programs, and the freezing of assets of 10 Iranian companies and individuals involved in the nuclear program.
The senior diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said the document and the foreign ministers' decision represent divided thinking on the subject inside the EU.
The officials added that the document was a "position paper put together by bureaucrats," while what the foreign ministers decided was European policy.
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