Iran: possible to solve nuclear row
Updated on 12 September 2007
Iran has ruled out suspending uranium enrichment, but believes there can be a solution to the row over its nuclear programme.
However, America announced today that it would be hosting a meeting of the UN security council's permanent members next week to discuss sanctions.
But Tehran's nuclear negotiators have warned they could stop co-operating with inspectors if sanctions are imposed.
President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad says he does not want a nuclear weapon but just what's to prevent him from building one?
At the plant at Isfahan, they have stored enough raw material to fuel 30 nuclear warheads and in Natanz' s underground tunnels, thousands of centrifuges are believed to be spinning enriched uranium.
And amid these displays of Teheran's firepower, the British and Americans are now pressing for a third round of sanctions to be debated at the United Nations in nine days' time.
But previous UN deadlines have come and gone. At the UN's inpsection headquarters in Vienna, there are signs of deep divisions. The IAEA director Mohammed El Baradei walked out after the EU and US dismissed more inspections as a recipe for delay, claiming Iran must halt its enrichment first - something that Iran's chief negotiator once again ruled out today.
A leading think tank today concluded in its annual report that President Ahmedinejad, a man who has said Israel should vanish or be wiped away, could have the bomb by the year after next.
The Iranian regime also came under fire today from the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who accused it of intervening aggressively in Iraq, another potential source of conflict.
The Americans insist that weapons used to maim and kill their troops were supplied by Iran. Last week, an inquest into the death of Matthew Cornish a British Corporal killed in Basra last year heard that it was beyond doubt that an Iranian mortar was to blame.
Today the Ministry of Defence confirmed that up to 270 British troops are tasked with patrolling in Maysan province near the Iranian border while the Americans said this week they are building a base just four miles from Iran.