Iran open to 'negotiations but not compromises'

27th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2006, TEHRAN/BERLIN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking ahead of renewed talks Wednesday afternoon between Iran and the European Union said the Islamic republic was open to negotiations on its controversial nuclear programme but would not compromise its perceived rights. "We are ready to hold negotiations for removing doubts and misunderstandings but no one is allowed to make a compromise on the people's (nuclear) rights and ignore the laws (in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

27 September 2006

TEHRAN/BERLIN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking ahead of renewed talks Wednesday afternoon between Iran and the European Union said the Islamic republic was open to negotiations on its controversial nuclear programme but would not compromise its perceived rights.

"We are ready to hold negotiations for removing doubts and misunderstandings but no one is allowed to make a compromise on the people's (nuclear) rights and ignore the laws (in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)," Ahmadinejad was quoted by news agency ISNA as saying on Wednesday.

"Although we have constantly cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the West still talks about confidence-building but does not clarify how and until when we should do this," Ahmadinejad charged.

Nuclear negotiations between Iran and six international nations - the five permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany - are currently at an impasse. Iran rejects international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment as a precondition for returning to the talks table.

Western nations, chief among them the United States, have long charged Iran of harbouring nuclear weapons ambitions. Tehran, however, insists that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it is entitled to pursue a programme of peaceful nuclear energy and has defied a UN resolution urging it to halt uranium enrichment.

In his comments Wednesday the Iranian president said that Iran had since August, and in the face of Western "intimidation," not only launched an uranium conversion plant in Isfahan, central Iran, but had also established a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz for the purposes of securing its own nuclear fuel cycle.

Ahmadinejad said that the West had tried to intimidate Iran with threats that the nuclear plants may be targeted by military strikes, but "later came to their senses" and demanded instead a temporary halt to uranium enrichment before talks on the issue could be resumed.

Iran's parliament speaker said earlier Wednesday that uranium enrichment suspension could be one of the topics to be discussed in nuclear negotiations.

"We have always said that we will not accept uranium enrichment suspension as precondition for nuclear negotiations, but at the same time stressed that this issue could still be discussed if negotiations were resumed," Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel said on state television.

Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani was in Berlin Wednesday afternoon to resume talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on the nuclear dispute. Larijani and Solana are attempting to find a middle way out of the current nuclear deadlock.

"This meeting forms part of our effort to find a diplomatic solution in the conflict over Iran's nuclear programme," said German Foreign Office spokesman Martin Jaeger.

Failure of the talks risks a return of the Iranian case to the UN Security Council, where the Islamic state may face sanctions.

Larijani is also scheduled to meet German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, state TV reported.

DPA

Subject: German news

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