AFP: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday ruled out negotiations over Iran’s nuclear rights and vowed again not to back down one iota in the standoff, the state news agency IRNA said. TEHRAN, May 4, 2007 (AFP) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday ruled out negotiations over Iran’s nuclear rights and vowed again not to back down one iota in the standoff, the state news agency IRNA said.
“The Iranian nation will never talk to anyone over its inalienable rights and it will never back down one iota, even for a second, on its legal rights,” he said in the southern town of Rafsanjan, in Kerman province.
“We welcome honest talks but nobody is allowed to sit at a negotiating table with Iranians’ definitive rights on the agenda,” he said despite the reopening of talks with the European Union to find a solution to the standoff over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.
Iran says that, as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has a right to enrich uranium. It refuses to freeze the work in defiance of the UN Security Council, which has imposed sanctions on Tehran.
Enriched uranium is hugely sensitive because it can be used both to make nuclear fuel and as the fissile core of an atomic bomb.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists that it wants only to produce energy for a growing population.
Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana held talks in Turkey last week in their first meeting since February.
Larijani said afterwards that the two sides were heading towards a “united view” and the men are expected to meet again in the coming weeks.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has indicated that she would be prepared to talk about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on the sidelines of a conference on Iraq’s security now underway in Egypt.