Iran General NewsTehran welcomes U.S. talks

Tehran welcomes U.S. talks

-

ImageWall Street Journal: Iran's top diplomat for nuclear issues said his government would welcome a broad dialogue with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's administration, but offered few signs that Tehran is willing to slow its expanding nuclear program.

The Wall Street Journal

By JAY SOLOMON

ImageVIENNA — Iran's top diplomat for nuclear issues said his government would welcome a broad dialogue with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's administration, but offered few signs that Tehran is willing to slow its expanding nuclear program.

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, said in an interview that if Mr. Obama makes good on his campaign pledge to drop preconditions on talks with Tehran, it could pave the way for a significant cooling of tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

"If these changes are really genuine, and not cosmetic, then there would be optimism that there would be a change" in U.S. foreign policy, Mr. Soltanieh said at IAEA headquarters here. "We are fully prepared to sit at the negotiating table with all countries provided that there are no conditions and all are on equal footing."

The IAEA reported last month a significant expansion of Iran's nuclear program, which the U.S. says is for atomic weapons but Tehran says is for peaceful purposes. The IAEA reported that Iran had produced 630 kilograms of low-enriched uranium through the operation of roughly 4,000 centrifuges, and was on the path to produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale as thousands of additional centrifuges come online.

Mr. Obama has repeatedly said that the U.S. should engage Tehran on the nuclear issue without any preconditions, such as Iran's freezing of enrichment activities. If Iran refuses to relent on its nuclear program despite such diplomatic overtures, it would bear the blame for international tensions, he has said.

Low-enriched uranium needs additional processing to be converted into the weapons-grade material used in a nuclear bomb. IAEA officials estimate Iran would need to roughly double its current stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and to process it further, to have enough fissile material to produce one atomic weapon.

Mr. Soltanieh said Tehran plans to continue enriching uranium despite United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding a cessation and international economic sanctions. He stressed that IAEA safeguards ensure against any diversion of these materials for military purposes, an argument the U.S. and other Western nations dispute.

"There is now a number of 5,000 centrifuges. And this program is continuing without any interruption," Mr. Soltanieh said. "While this enrichment continues, the cameras of the IAEA are 24 hours monitoring every move and every gram of uranium."

The recent IAEA report criticized Tehran for not answering questions about allegations that Iran has studied ways to weaponize its nuclear program. Intelligence provided to the IAEA by the U.S. and other governments indicates that Tehran explored ways to design nuclear warheads and triggering devices.

Latest news

To Stay in Power, Iran’s Regime Liquidates National Assets

For several decades, Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei has sold Iran's resources and wealth for the survival of...

Iran’s 2023 Budget Shrouded In Doubt

On January 22, the Majlis (parliament) approved the draft of the 2023 budget bill proposed by regime president Ebrahim...

Iran: People of Khoy Still Reeling From 5.9-Magnitude Earthquake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 struck northwest Iran on Saturday, killing at least three people and injuring...

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

Must read

Church leaders condemn Camp Ashraf violence

Christian Today: The head of the Roman Catholic Church...

U.S. freezes $2 billion in Iran case

Wall Street Journal: More than $2 billion allegedly held...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you