AFP: Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday that world powers must accept the Islamic republic as a nuclear power.
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday that world powers must accept the Islamic republic as a nuclear power.
His comments came after the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany offered to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear drive.
"Now the 5+1 has no reason to deny or refuse Iran's nuclear technology and the expected negotiations will be based according to the rights mentioned in the Non-Proliferation Treaty," Larijani said in a speech to parliament reported by the ISNA news agency.
The international community has called on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment programme which they suspect is aimed at making atomic weapons, a charge strongly denied by Tehran.
Iran announced on Thursday the opening of its first nuclear fuel plant and said it has tested two new high-capacity centrifuges used to enrich uranium, although Washington has voiced scepticism over the claimed nuclear advances.
Tehran maintains it is allowing the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to inspect its nuclear work and that as a signatory to the NPT, it has the right to enrich uranium as fuel for nuclear power plants.
Larijani, Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator, said that the "more intense supervision as advocated by some of the members of 5+1 is baseless and has no legal foundation."