Iran denies nuclear talks with EU at an impasse (AFP-FRANCE PRESSE) TEHRAN, Iran 01/27/05 12:30 PM ET)
AFP} Agence France Presse
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TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran has denied that its negotiations with three
major European powers over its nuclear programme are at an impasse,
the local press reported.
The comments by foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi came
after the emergence of reports that the EU was hardening its stance
towards Iran and calling on Tehran to completely dismantle its
nuclear fuel programme in order to guarantee that it does not seek
"The publication of such reports is aimed at overshadowing the
constructive nature of the negotiations and demonstrates the
discontent of those who are not satisfied with their progress and
are trying to prevent their success," Asefi was quoted as saying.
Iran, accused by Washington of trying to build an atomic bomb, has
suspended uranium enrichment as a confidence-building measure but
the EU now wants the Islamic republic to definitively abandon
enrichment as well as any activities for making plutonium.
According to a report on a closed-door meeting in Geneva this month,
representatives of Britain, France and Germany told Iran
that "nothing short of full cessation and dismantling of Iranīs fuel
cycle efforts would give the EU3 the objective guarantees they need
that Iranīs nuclear program is peaceful."
Iran insists that its nuclear activities are peaceful and that the
nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty guarantees its right to peaceful
The Geneva meeting was the second round of talks on a potentially
lucrative trade pact after a deal clinched in November by the
European blocīs three most powerful members for Iran to suspend
uranium enrichment, the key process that makes what can be fuel for
nuclear reactors but also the explosive core of atomic bombs.
The trade deal forms part of a package of incentives for Iran if the
talks produce "objective guarantees" the country is not seeking to
develop nuclear weapons, as the United States charges it is doing.
But according to top nuclear negotiator and diplomat Hossein
Moussavian, "the question of halting Iranīs nuclear activities has
never been a part of the negotiations" with the EU.
"The objective that has been fixed is for Iran to deliver objective
guarantees to the other side so that they can be certain the Iranian
nuclear fuel cycle will always stay peaceful and never be used to
make an atomic bomb," he was quoted as saying by the Shargh
newspaper. (Copyright Đ 2005 Agence France Presse. 01/27/05)
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