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Saturday, August 06, 2005

US backs Iran civilian nuke program for first time

By Saul Hudson Yahoo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday explicitly accepted for the first time that Iran can develop civilian nuclear programs, backing an EU proposal to allow Tehran to pursue atomic power in exchange for giving up fuel work.

In a compromise that completed a gradual shift in U.S. policy, Washington acquiesced because it believes the EU offer has enough safeguards to prevent Iran from diverting its civilian work into making nuclear bombs.

"We support the (Europeans') effort and the proposal they have put forward to find a diplomatic solution to this problem and to seek an end to Iran's nuclear weapons program," State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters.

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