The Obama administration and its European allies are considering dropping a long-standing American demand that Tehran immediately shut down its nuclear facilities if it enters talks over its atomic program, The New York Times reported on Monday on its website. The proposal would also allow the Islamic Republic to continue enriching uranium for some period during the talks and would be a sharp break from the Bush administration, the report said.
The proposals, still under discussion, were aimed at drawing Iran into nuclear talks that it has so far shunned, the newspaper said, citing officials involved in the strategy sessions.
A senior Obama administration official cautioned that "we are still at the brainstorming level" and said the terms of an opening proposal to Iran were still being debated, the newspaper conveyed.
The New York Times also cited European officials as saying that in talks during Obama's visit to Europe there was agreement that Iran would not accept the immediate shutdown of its facilities that the Bush administration had demanded. "Our goal remains exactly what it has been in the U.N. resolutions: suspension," one senior administration official told the newspaper.