Iran rejects Brown’s offer to settle nuclear stand-off

March 17th, 2009 - 11:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown Tehran, March 17 (IANS) Iran Tuesday rejected the suggestions by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that Tehran should “make the right choice” in its stand-off with the West over its controversial nuclear programme, IRNA reported.
In a speech in London earlier Tuesday, Brown said with continuing to enrich weapons grade uranium, Iran remained a “critical proliferation threat” and risked severe sanctions.

He, however, said like every country Iran had the right to have civil nuclear power and seek help from the international community for its civil nuclear programme, abandoning its drive to have nuclear weapons.

Reacting to Brown’s statement, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said here that the British prime minister’s comments are full of contradictions.

“Brown’s claims are full of contradictions because on the one hand he stresses that like all other countries Iran has absolute right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and on the other he claims that Iran’s present nuclear programme is unacceptable,” Qashqavi said.

He claimed that all nuclear activities of the country were “completely of peaceful nature and under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency”.

“The claim that Iran poses a threat to Non-Proliferation Treaty is fully baseless,” the spokesman stressed.

He noted that Iran has repeatedly announced readiness for unconditional talks on the basis of fairness and mutual respect but “it is not clear why Brown speaks of Iran’s agreement to hold talks while threatening the country with harsher penalties”.

Urging Iran to hold talks with the West over its nuclear issue, Brown said Tehran could become a “test case” for co-operation between atomic nations and non-nuclear states.

“I urge Iran, once again, to work with us rather than against us upon this. The opportunity to do so remains on the table and the choice is theirs to make. I think they will make the right choice,” said Brown.

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