Iran refuses to suspend nuclear programme (Second Lead)

July 20th, 2008 - 12:46 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, July 19 (DPA) Iran has refused to commit itself to stopping uranium enrichment as demanded by the European Union, the US and other world powers, EU’s chief diplomat Javier Solana indicated here Saturday. Speaking at a news conference after talks with Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili that were also attended by a US envoy, Solana said “the most important question” in the dispute with Iran remained unanswered.

On behalf of the UN Security Council P5 and Germany, Solana met Jalili to talk about the offer of future cooperation in the areas of economy, nuclear energy and politics, once Tehran halts its nuclear activities.

The meeting was supposed to find a path to full negotiations by squaring the world powers’ precondition of nuclear suspension with Iran’s insistence on its right to civilian nuclear energy.

“We have not gotten an answer. We didn’t get an answer yes or no, straight, and we hope that it will be given soon,” Solana told reporters. He suggested that talks with Iran would continue within weeks, expressing his hope that Tehran would reply within two weeks.

Still, Jalili brought a “constructive attitude” to Saturday’s talks at the city hall in Geneva, Solana said.

Jalili said “we further came to appreciate each other’s point of view” during the talks, which he called “constructive and positive” He said “different points of view” persisted on some issues, but that Tehran was ready for further talks.

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