VIENNA -- Iran is demanding Europe's leading powers back its right to so-called ''dual use" nuclear technology that could be used to make weapons, dismaying the Europeans and strengthening Washington's push for UN sanctions, a European Union official and diplomats said yesterday.
Declining to respond to a list of demands presented by Iran last week, the Europeans are urging the Iranian government to instead make good on a pledge to clear up suspicions about its nuclear ambitions.
But diplomats said Iran's demands undermine the effort by France, Germany, and Britain to avoid a confrontation. They had hoped to persuade Tehran to give up technology that can produce nuclear arms, but now are closer to the Bush administration's view that Iran should be referred to the UN Security Council for violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the diplomats said.
The Iranian list, presented during talks in Paris, includes demands that the three European powers:
Support Iran's insistence its nuclear program have access to ''advanced technology, including those with dual use," which is equipment and know-how that has both peaceful and weapons applications.
"Remove impediments" -- sales restrictions imposed by nuclear supplier nations -- preventing Iran access to such technology.
Give assurances they will stick by any commitment to Iran even if faced with ''legal [or] political . . . limitations," an apparent allusion to potential Security Council sanctions.
Agree to sell Iran conventional weapons.
Commit to push ''rigorously and systematically" for a nonnuclear Middle East and to ''provide security assurances" against a nuclear attack on Iran, both allusions to Israel, which is believed to have nuclear arms and which destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in a 1981 airstrike to prevent it from making atomic arms.
France, Germany, and Britain last year had held out the prospect of supplying Iran with some ''dual use" nuclear technology, but only in the distant future and only if all suspicions about the Iranian program were laid to rest.
With Iran still under investigation, the demands stunned senior French, German, and British negotiators, said a European Union official familiar with the Paris meeting.
Ignoring the list, the Europeans instead urged Iran to act on its leaders' pledge to clear up suspicions about their nuclear ambitions by Sept. 13, when the International Atomic Energy Agency meets to review Iran's nuclear program, the official said.
The Paris talks ended ''with the two sides talking past each other," said a diplomat familiar with the meeting, who -- like the other diplomats and the EU official -- agreed to discuss the matter only if granted anonymity.
In London, the Foreign Office declined to comment on the negotiations with Iran, but said Britain is ''not prepared to stand by and watch them collect the necessary technology to make a weapon."
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi insisted that the international community has no reason to be suspicious about the country's nuclear plans.
''Iran has not violated any of its commitments to international treaties in its nuclear program," Kharrazi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
The Bush administration insists Iran wants to make nuclear weapons, despite Tehran's contention that it is interested in uranium enrichment and other ''dual use" technology only to help generate electricity.
During a campaign stop yesterday, President Bush said US officials are working with other nations to make sure the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog agency based in Vienna, asks Iranian officials ''hard questions" about their weapons activities.
''Iran must comply with the demands of the free world, and that's where we sit right now," Bush said in Annandale, Va. ''My attitude is that we've got to keep pressure on the government, and help others keep pressure on the government, so there's going to be universal condemnation of illegal weapons activities."
Iran agreed last October to suspend uranium enrichment and cooperate with the IAEA investigation of its nuclear activities in exchange for a promise from France, Germany, and Britain to provide technology for peaceful nuclear programs once all open questions had been answered.
It subsequently stopped enrichment, but continued related activities. That fell short of a demand from the Europeans that it permanently renounce the process, which can both produce fuel for generating electricity and create the core of a nuclear warhead.
While enrichment remains suspended, Iran announced last week that it has resumed full-scale manufacture of centrifuges, which are used in uranium enrichment. It said the move was a reaction to the Europeans not persuading the IAEA to end its investigation.
Past American attempts to have the IAEA refer Iran to the Security Council foundered in part because of European resistance. But the hardline Iranian stance has emboldened US officials.