Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tehran Rejects Nuclear Talks with Preconditions

Middle East Online:
Iran said Tuesday it would not accept resuming negotiations with Britain, France and Germany on its nuclear programme if the EU continued to insist the Islamic republic abandon fuel cycle work. "The Islamic Republic of Iran will not accept any negotiations with preconditions attached," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

"Instead of talking about negotiations and setting conditions, the Europeans would be better off resuming the talks because they were ones who cut them off," he added. READ MORE

Iran has in recent months hardened its position in its nuclear stand-off with the West by rejecting proposals that it abandon fuel cycle technology in return for incentives and by resuming uranium conversion work in defiance of an agreement with Britain, France and Germany.

Tehran insists its nuclear programme it strictly peaceful and argues that fuel cycle work is a right for any signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

But the European Union and United States want Iran to abandon work related to uranium enrichment - which can be diverted to military use.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month adopted a resolution that finds Iran in "non-compliance" with nuclear proliferation safeguards - an automatic trigger for taking the matter to the UN Security Council.