Gulf & Middle East
Tehran warns against EU 'deceptive plan' in nuclear talks
Apr 23, 2007 - 5:25:32 PM

Tehran, April 23 - Tehran Monday warned against a 'new deceptive plan' by the European Union in the new round of nuclear talks between EU chief diplomat Javier Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.

'It should first be clarified whether in the upcoming talks they - have a new deceptive plan or not,' ISNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini as saying.

Solana said that he planned to meet Larijani on April 25 in Ankara, but Hosseini could only confirm the date but not the venue.

Solana hoped to convince Iran to start formal negotiations to defuse its long-standing nuclear standoff with the West by convincing Tehran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities in return for access to Western civilian nuclear technology.

The Iranian spokesman however ruled out this precondition, saying, 'Suspension should be excluded from the agenda - Iran's nuclear rights should once and for all be acknowledged by all relevant countries.'

'We have witnessed a softening in the Western position towards Iran's nuclear activities; the issue has however apparently turned into a prestige issue forcing the West to justify the UN resolutions - to their own public opinion,' Hosseini said.

The spokesman added that the previously held talks with the EU could have led to fruitful results but nothing came out due to United States pressure.

Iran considers itself entitled to pursue civil nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment, in line with the Non-Proliferation Treaty but is prepared to discuss with the West guarantees that the nuclear projects remain peaceful without any military aims.

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