iran nuclear workers 298.
(photo credit: AP)
Iran is close to agreeing to suspend uranium enrichment for a period of 90 days, with the provision that the cessation in uranium activity remain secret, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.
Officials in the Bush administration said that the deal, negotiated by EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana and Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, could conceivably be clinched by the end of this week, and would enable further talks with major players in the Iranian nuclear crisis.
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While some in the US government officials approve of the deal, others oppose it as "giving in" to Iran's intransigence on the issue of uranium enrichment. Furthermore, some argue, keeping a 90-day suspension of enrichment secret would present a problem.
While suspending enrichment without a public announcement could provide an out for Iran, the article continued, any suspension would have to be confirmed by IAEA inspectors.
State Department spokesman Tom Casey issued a statement in response to reports of a deal: "The terms laid out by the Security Council are clear; Iran needs to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, and it needs to do so in a verifiable way â€¦ If it doesn't, we move to sanctions."