US allies debate partial enrichment for Iran

Key US allies have begun debating whether to tolerate Iran's only partially freezing its uranium enrichment program - a stance that could put them at odds with Washington, officials said Friday. The officials - US and European diplomats and government employees - told The Associated Press that the deliberations, involving senior British, French and German decision-makers, were preliminary, and that no conclusions had been drawn. Germany was supportive, France opposed and Britain noncommittal, they said. "Nothing is on paper," a European diplomat said, describing the tentative plan as a "freeze for peace." Still, with the United States still insisting that any enrichment freeze be total, such consideration could put major strains on US-led attempts to show unity on the issue. And it could potentially lead Washington to settle for less than it has been insisting on in attempts to ban the prospects of Iran having nuclear arms.