EU powers want Iran to end uranium enrichment

US Secretary of State &to=http://' target=_blank>Condoleezza Rice pressed European diplomats to take a tough line with Tehran in talks on Iran's nuclear program. She said Iran should be aware that a referral of the issue to the U.N. Security Council is looming, if it does not fully disclose its nuclear activities.

The &to=http://' target=_blank>Bush administration has publicly supported a diplomatic effort by Britain, France and Germany to get Iran make a full disclosure of a nuclear program the United States has long maintained has a covert weapons component.

But U.S. officials have privately expressed impatience with the talks and suggested that Iran might be using them to indefinitely put off a showdown on the issue. It has figured in talks in all the European countries Ms. Rice has visited on her current foreign trip, her first as secretary of state, says Voice of America.

According to the BBC News, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has said Tehran will never give up nuclear technology, as international pressure on his government continues to mount.

He warned of "massive" consequences if Iran was treated unfairly.

Mr Khatami said again that the nuclear programme was peaceful and needed to produce power, rejecting US suspicions that it is a cover for weapons.

EU powers want Tehran to end &to=http://' target=_blank>uranium enrichment - a key part of nuclear arms production - permanently.

The U.S. push to create a special committee, first proposed last year by Bush, appears driven by the feeling that talks between Iran and Germany, France and Britain will fail.

Those three countries are trying to persuade Iran to agree to either scrap its plans to enrich uranium or extend its present short-term suspension to a freeze lasting for at least several years.

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