Iran Nuclear NewsIran ready to meet EU ministers but stands by...

Iran ready to meet EU ministers but stands by nuclear demand

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AFP: Iran is ready to meet top European officials in the coming days but will not continue long-term nuclear negotiations without first resuming sensitive uranium work, a senior
national security official said Sunday. “We cannot continue the negotiations with the Europeans without having resumed
some of our activities,” Hassan Rowhani told state television. AFP

TEHRAN – Iran is ready to meet top European officials in the coming days but will not continue long-term nuclear negotiations without first resuming sensitive uranium work, a senior national security official said Sunday.

“We cannot continue the negotiations with the Europeans without having resumed some of our activities,” Hassan Rowhani told state television.

He added that Iran’s decision to resume uranium conversion work — a precursor to uranium enrichment — was “still valid”.

“We are in favour of negotiations. We can negotiate for months, but we cannot negotiate under the present conditions,” Rowhani said, repeating the demand to resume activities that were suspended in November 2004 as part of a deal with Britain, France and Germany.

His comments came shortly after Iran said it was postponing its threatened resumption of sensitive nuclear activities, a move that would have violated the accord, following an offer from the so-called EU-3 of high level talks.

“They have proposed a meeting in the coming days or next week, and we are examining it,” Rowhani said, referring a letter from the three European foreign ministers sent to him on Thursday.

“In their letter, they asked us to delay our resumption (of uranium conversion) so we can have a ministerial-level meeting,” Rowhani explained.

“We are in favour of the priciple of negotiating,” he said, adding that “the fact that the resumption of our activities will be delayed by several days is not a problem.”

“We prefer to resume our (nuclear) activities with an accord, but if there is not we will stick by our decision and without any doubt resume a part of our activities.”

Speaking in Vienna, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier confirmed Sunday that a meeting between the Iranian authorities and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany on Tehran’s nuclear programme would take place in the coming days.

“We have scheduled a meeting of the three Europeans with Iranian authorities in the coming days,” Barnier told AFP, without specifying the venue of the talks.

Iranian media reports said the meeting would take place in either Geneva or Brussels.

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