Iran´s Khamenei warns EU it may reconsider nuclear cooperation (AFP-FRANCE PRESSE) TEHRAN, Iran 01/29/05 8:05 AM ET)
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TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran´s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned
European powers that they must take their nuclear negotiations with
Iran seriously, otherwise Tehran would reconsider its cooperation.
"The Europeans negotiating with Iran should know that they are
dealing with a great, cultured nation... if Iranian officials feel
that there is no seriousness in the European negotiations, the
process will change," Khamenei was quoted as saying by the Iranian
His comments followed 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 atomic weapons.
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.
Khamenei told the Europeans that "wasting time could not impede
Iran´s path to nuclear technology since it is a part of its national
Iran insists that its nuclear activities are peaceful and that the
nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty guarantees its right to peaceful
But at a closed-door meeting in Geneva this month, the so-called EU3
of Britain, France and Germany told Iran: "Nothing short of full
cessation and dismantling of Iran´s fuel cycle efforts would give the
EU3 the objective guarantees they need that Iran´s nuclear program is
The Geneva meeting was the second round of talks on a potentially
lucrative trade pact after a deal clinched in November by the
European bloc´s 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.
"Europeans know that Iran under no circumstances will give up
(uranium) enrichment for peaceful purposes," Iran´s top nuclear
negotiator, Hasan Rowhani told the conservative Mehr news agency.
"Europeans also know that the duration of the negotiations and
suspension of the enrichment is limited, and after this round of
discussions has lapsed, the Islamic Republic of Iran will seek its
rightful rights," he added, echoing Iranian officials request for a
speedy conclusion in the negotiations with the Europeans.
"The European Union, especially the three countries, know that Iran
is firm on its decisions and I do not think the Europeans want the
negotiations to reach a dead end," Rowhani said.
"Both sides have to try to reach a satisfactory solution," he added.
(Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. 01/29/05)
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