France Rejects Iran's Deadline on Nuclear Fuel Deal

Source:

"No, this is not the way it is done"

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Monday rejected Iran's one-month deadline on major powers to accept Tehran's response to a United Nations-brokered nuclear fuel deal.

"We are not the ones who have to decide whether to accept what they want to impose on us. No, this is not the way it is done," Kouchner told RTL radio, according to AFP.

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Saturday that Iran will press on with plans to produce higher-enriched nuclear fuel if there is no agreement by the end of January.

Under the deal offered to Iran on October 1, Iran would ship most of its low-enriched uranium abroad for conversion into nuclear fuel for a medical reactor in Tehran.

Kouchner said Iran was trying to "side-step" the issue by "giving an ultimatum to those who have offered to help them."

The White House has also dismissed Iranís deadline, saying that the existing deal was sufficient.

The French foreign minister said it was "unfortunately not possible" to talk seriously with Iran about its nuclear program, reports Reuters.

He noted that a year-end deadline set by the U.S. for Iran to accept the nuclear fuel deal had expired, but did not say what France would do next.

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