Iran hopes for end of Security Council measures: envoy (Lead)

March 4th, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, March 4 (DPA) Iran sees signs that the UN Security Council might end its engagement in the country’s nuclear issues, after the body’s permanent members indicated a readiness for direct talks, Iran’s UN ambassador here said Wednesday.
Permanent Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the US, as well as Germany told the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Tuesday they wanted to find a comprehensive diplomatic solution through direct talks.

But they also called on Iran to heed the Security Council’s demands to stop its uranium-enrichment programme, which would end UN sanctions and open the way for talks on improved economic and political cooperation.

Iran’s ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh commented: “If I read between the lines, and perhaps if I am not too optimistic this might be a way that they are going to correct their mistake and stop the engagement of the UN Security Council.”

In a turnabout from long-standing US policy, the new administration in Washington has said it is ready for bilateral engagement with Tehran’s leaders.

Soltanieh indicated that compromises might be possible once the Security Council stopped dealing with his country’s nuclear file.

The diplomat dismissed the notion put forward by experts that Iran’s 1,010 kg of low-enriched uranium are theoretically enough for making one nuclear weapon in a series of further steps.

“In many countries they produce tonnes of material,” Soltanieh said, adding that the enrichment facility in Natanz was under constant surveillance of the IAEA, thus preventing its use for military means.

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