Iran Nuclear NewsIran to press for recognition of 'nuclear rights' in...

Iran to press for recognition of ‘nuclear rights’ in talks

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AFP: Iran will press to have its “nuclear rights” recognised in talks with world powers who accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons, a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters on Tuesday.

TEHRAN, September 28, 2010 (AFP) – Iran will press to have its “nuclear rights” recognised in talks with world powers who accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons, a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters on Tuesday.

“Iran has announced its view points and readiness for talks with the P5+1. We are seeking to have Iran’s nuclear rights recognised in these talks,” Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly press briefing.

He said Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was seeking to set “a date and venue” to meet EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, who represents permanent UN Security Council members and Germany — known as the P5+1.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week said an Iranian official may meet with Ashton in October “for preparatory work” in a new bid to open negotiations on Iran’s contested nuclear drive.

“If Ms Ashton contacts the Iranian representative she can set a time for talks,” the Iranian leader told a press conference in New York.

He also said that “in October the representative of Iran will meet with one member of the P5+1 to decide the framework of talks.”

The six world powers – the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – are leading the talks aimed at persuading Tehran to rein in its suspect nuclear programme.

But Ahmadinejad told the New York press conference that any talks with the Western powers, who accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear bomb, must be carried out on the principle of “justice and respect.”

The Iranian leader had also said that some members of the world powers had had contacts with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly held last week.

He gave no details apart from saying there had been no contacts with the US government in New York.

In June, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against the Islamic republic, which in turn said it would suspend talks until September.

In a statement last Wednesday the United States and the other five powers said they are seeking an “early negotiated solution” to the standoff.

Iran’s uranium enrichment work is at the centre of international concerns as the process can be used to make nuclear fuel as well as the core of an atom bomb.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and has pressed on with enrichment, insisting it has a right to the process as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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