Reuters: Iran is ready for serious negotiations with the West to seek a deal that would end a row over its atomic plans, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator said on Monday.
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran is ready for serious negotiations with the West to seek a deal that would end a row over its atomic plans, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator said on Monday.
Iran has rejected U.N. demands to halt uranium enrichment, a process which the West fears Iran is using in order to build atomic bombs. Iranian media said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may announce on Monday that Iran is expanding its atomic work.
“Today, with the nuclear fuel cycle complete, we are ready to begin real negotiations with the aim of reaching an understanding,” nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
“We are ready to negotiate and reach an agreement with Western countries in order to remove their worries about nuclear Iran without putting an end to our scientific development,” he said in a speech in the eastern city of Mashhad.
Talks led by the European Union to end the standoff collapsed last year when Iran refused to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make atomic warheads but which Iran says it will only use to make nuclear reactor fuel for electricity generation.
Some preliminary discussions have resumed and Iranian officials have repeatedly said Tehran is open to negotiations without preconditions.
Iran’s refusal to heed U.N. demands prompted the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran. Tehran said this would not derail what it calls its peaceful atomic plans.
“The West should know that reaching an agreement with Iran will not be done by U.N. resolutions and if it creates tension instead of an interaction with Iran they should know that Iran will show a serious reaction,” he said.
Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, says it has the right to enrich uranium under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but the West says it must first prove its peaceful intentions.