Talks not at cost of enrichment rights: Iran (Lead)June 14th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS
Tehran, July 14, (IANS) Iran Saturday said its willingness to negotiate with world powers on various issues will not be at the cost of its “legal rights” to pursue nuclear technology, official news agency IRNA reported. “While defending the Iranian nation’s legal rights, we always declare that we are ready to take part in negotiations in different areas,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana who arrived here Friday to offer a package of incentives to Iran.
The updated package has been drawn up by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — China, Russia, France, Britain and the US — plus Germany to dissuade the Islamic country from its uranium enrichment activities.
He also handed over to Mottaki a message from foreign ministers of the six countries.
Mottaki told Solana Tehran’s response to the concessions would depend upon how the West reacts to a package of proposals it had offered.
Iran last month offered a package of proposals, which called for an improved inspection system by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), while reaffirming its “non-negotiable” right to uranium enrichment.
It also proposed setting up of a committee to follow up nuclear disarmament as required by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The package did not ask for a security guarantee from the US but proposed broad discussion on human rights issues and democracy.
Earlier Saturday, government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said Iran would reject any deal offered by major world powers that demands a suspension of its uranium enrichment.
“Iran’s stance is clear. The precondition of a halt and suspension of nuclear activities cannot be brought up,” Elham said.
Solana arrived in Tehran Friday for talks aimed at helping to resolve a dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.
“I am travelling to Tehran to present a generous and comprehensive offer,” Solana had said in a statement Friday.
“I am convinced that it is possible to change the present state of affairs,” he said, adding “Our proposal is good for the future of Iran and for the future of the Iranian people.”