AFP: Iran on Tuesday reaffirmed it was ready to hold talks with its arch enemy the United States, but only if Washington drops its insistence that Tehran halts sensitive nuclear work first. BUSHEHR, Iran, April 3, 2007 (AFP) – Iran on Tuesday reaffirmed it was ready to hold talks with its arch enemy the United States, but only if Washington drops its insistence that Tehran halts sensitive nuclear work first.
“We will not accept any precondition. We keep to our previous position and will not accept a suspension or a halt to uranium enrichment,” Vice President Parviz Davoudi said.
“We are ready to negotiate within the framework of international rules without any preconditions,” he said during a visit to Iran’s first nuclear power station being built in the southern city of Bushehr.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday repeated her offer that she was open to direct talks with Iran but only on the condition that it froze its sensitive uranium enrichment work.
“But what you don’t want to do, I think, is make this US-Iranian negotiations over the Iranian nuclear weapon,” she said.
The United States, with whom Iran has no diplomatic relations, accuses Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon. Iran denies the charges, saying it only wants nuclear energy.
Washington cut diplomatic relations with Tehran in 1980 after its embassy in Tehran was seized by Islamist students after the revolution and ties have remained frozen ever since.