Tehran reviews nuclear ‘time out’ idea — official

Iran is reviewing a “time out” proposal to stop its uranium enrichment expansion in return for a halt to further UN sanctions, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.In Vienna, a senior diplomat said world powers were debating the idea of offering Iran a pause to end the row over its atomic plans, which the West says is aimed at building nuclear bombs.

Iran has so far refused any such step, saying its nuclear work is purely civilian and legal.

“It [the proposal] has nothing new … It has been discussed in the past. But Iran is still reviewing the proposal,” spokesman Mohammad Ali Husseini told a weekly news conference.

“Iran is willing to review all plans and proposals that guarantee Iran’s rights in the process of talks.” Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who has held exploratory talks to discuss the nuclear row, had reviewed that proposal, he said.

The exploratory talks yielded no breakthrough on the core dispute — Iran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment as a condition for broader negotiations.

“All ideas have points of weakness and strength in them and they should be viewed more technically,” Husseini said, adding that Iran wanted to resolve the standoff through talks.

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