Ahmadinejad ready for talks with US, insists on nuclear rights

April 10th, 2009 - 12:11 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Tehran, April 9 (DPA) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Thursday said he was ready to join nuclear talks with the West, including the US, but insisted Iran’s nuclear rights be respected.
“We are ready to hold (nuclear) talks with the West, but these talks should be based on the principle of justice and equality and respect of Iran’s (nuclear) rights,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech at the Isfahan nuclear plant in central Iran.

The US said Wednesday it would join other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in talks with Iran over its suspected nuclear programme.

Ahmadinejad reiterated that Iran was a peace-loving country but would not make any concessions on its nuclear rights as the country has constantly followed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and International Atomic Energy Agency regulations.

“We welcome the (US President Barack Obama’s) call for a world free of nuclear weapons and are even ready to pay our share in this regard,” Ahmadinejad said.

Obama last week in Prague voiced his vision of a world without nuclear weapons and an immediate end to nuclear testing.

“But I have a piece of advice for the new (US) president: change your predecessor’s (George W Bush) literature towards Iran and let us work on the basis of respect and justice,” he added.

The European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is expected to contact Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to fix a date and venue for the next nuclear meeting.

Ahmadinejad Thursday inaugurated the country’s first nuclear fuel manufacturing plant (FMP) located near the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

He also inspected the Natanz uranium enrichment plant near Isfahan, where the number of the operating centrifuges have been increased from 6,000 to 7,000.

The UN Security Council has already imposed three resolutions, including financial sanctions, against Iran for rejecting suspension of its controversial uranium enrichment work.

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