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Iran's patience running out over nuclear issue
Updated: 2005-12-05 11:02

Iran's patience regarding Western opposition to its nuclear programme is wearing thin and Tehran will give the EU only a few months to settle the issue through talks, the country's chief nuclear negotiator said on Sunday.

Ali Larijani added Iran would only accept proposals to resolve the dispute which allowed it to produce nuclear fuel on its own soil.

The West wants Tehran to scrap plans to enrich uranium at home. Iran says it will only enrich uranium to a level useable in atomic power reactors but Washington and the European Union fear it could use the same technology to make bomb-grade material.

"We've been in talks for years with no result," Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told Reuters.

"We are following this case patiently but the nation's patience has a limit," he said.

Asked how long Iran's patience and its commitment to a two-year-old voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment activities would last, he said:

"A few months. We have a limited time framework for talks."

Talks between Iran and the EU trio of Britain, Germany and France will resume in the next two or three weeks, Larijani said.

The talks collapsed in August when Iran removed U.N. seals at its Isfahan nuclear facility and began processing uranium, the stage prior to uranium enrichment.

To allay concerns it may use its nuclear plants to produce arms-grade material, Iran has proposed that other countries participate in its uranium enrichment facility at Natanz.

It has also pledged to allow close monitoring of its activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

EU and Russian officials have said in recent weeks that they wanted to discuss a proposal whereby Iran would enrich uranium only in Russia under a joint venture.
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