No talks held in Geneva on suspending n-programme, says Iran

July 27th, 2008 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  


Tehran, July 27 (IANS) Iran Sunday rejected reports that it was pressurised to suspend its controversial nuclear programme during the international meeting in Geneva last week, official IRNA news agency reported. “There was no word of suspending uranium enrichment in the recent nuclear talks” in Geneva July 19 foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a press meet here Sunday.

He made the remarks commenting on the recent propaganda fuss made after the last Saturday meeting between Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

The US Undersecretary of State William Burns, the third-highest US diplomat, was also present in the meeting marking a major shift of policy on the part of the US.

After the meeting, some Western media reports claimed that Iran was asked in Geneva to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.

“We can talk about common points and should not pay attention to baseless media propaganda,” Qashqavi stressed.

When asked about installation of more than 5,000 centrifuges and whether that could be a sort of confrontation with the West, Qashqavi said, “The number of centrifuges is not the case. This is what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said in his speech. It is not a question of confronting or non-confronting the West.”

“In less than two weeks, Iran has responded to the letters of foreign ministers of six Western countries and participated in Geneva talks. If a country was to make any confrontation, it would not act like that,” said the spokesman.

He stressed that Iran’s moves indicated its serious political will to resolve the dispute with the Western governments.

On Saturday, Ahmadinejad said that Iran currently had up to 6,000 centrifuges and the west “agreed that the existing 5,000 to 6,000 centrifuges do not increase and there is no problem if this number of centrifuges work”.

The US and its allies have been accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear programme. However, Iran has denied the charge, saying its nuclear programme is of peaceful purpose and required to generate electricity.

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