Iran rejects long-term uranium-enrichment halt

2nd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2004 , HAMBURG - Iran is not prepared to negotiate with the European Union over a long-term suspension of its uranium enrichment, the head of Iran's nuclear energy agency said in a German interview published on Thursday. "We expect that the European Union hold to it promises and transfer nuclear technology and authorise uranium enrichment in Iran," Golam-Resa Aghasadeh told The Financial Times Deutschland.

2 December 2004

HAMBURG - Iran is not prepared to negotiate with the European Union over a long-term suspension of its uranium enrichment, the head of Iran's nuclear energy agency said in a German interview published on Thursday.

"We expect that the European Union hold to it promises and transfer nuclear technology and authorise uranium enrichment in Iran," Golam-Resa Aghasadeh told The Financial Times Deutschland.

His comments follow a deal struck between the European Union's so-called big three -Britain, France and Germany - and Iran on suspending its uranium enrichment  programme.

The main theme of future talks with the EU will be guarantees for both sides, Aghasadeh said.

A halt to its uranium enrichment is not up for discussion for Iran, Aghasadeh said.

"I don't know what guarantees the European countries could still want," he told the newspaper, adding that Iran had already submitted to all imaginable international controls and established transparency in its nuclear programme to build international trust.

This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency approved controls on Iran's nuclear programme and praised Iran's suspension of its uranium enrichment.

But the United States expressed scepticism at Iran's willingness to abide by its promises. Washington accuses Teheran of using a nuclear-energy programme to secretly develop nuclear weapons. Teheran has denied the charges.

In the meantime, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has warned his conservative opponents in parliament that confrontation with the West over nuclear issues could lead to Iran's isolation.

"By adopting a culture of confrontation and self-centralisation, we would just move towards isolation and that is certainly not the wish of our people," Khatami told the MPs in a special meeting on Wednesday evening.

The president was referring to parliament's opposition to the agreement reached between Teheran and the EU trio.

Khatami said the agreement was a compromise which both acknowledged Iran's right to peaceful nuclear technology and avoided unnecessary political trouble and isolation by the world community via sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.

DPA

Subject: German news

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