New York Times: The leader of Iran’s team negotiating with Europe over its nuclear program sent a letter on Wednesday to the foreign ministers of the three nations involved in the talks, saying that Iran was determined to resume its nuclear
activities but that it also wanted to continue the negotiations. New York Times
By NAZILA FATHI
TEHRAN – The leader of Iran’s team negotiating with Europe over its nuclear program sent a letter on Wednesday to the foreign ministers of the three nations involved in the talks, saying that Iran was determined to resume its nuclear activities but that it also wanted to continue the negotiations.
The Iranian negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, was responding to a letter sent Tuesday by the foreign ministers, from Britain, France and Germany, warning that talks would end if Iran resumed nuclear activities.
Iran said Sunday that it was going to resume work at a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan and that it was tired of waiting for a proposal from the European nations about possible economic, security, political and technological incentives in return for Iran’s commitment to halt its nuclear program.
European diplomats said this week that they were waiting to present their proposal until the new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 48, took office. At a ceremony on Wednesday, he received the approval of Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other nonelected senior religious leaders. His inauguration is set for Saturday.
Senior officials have said Iran’s nuclear policy will not change after Mr. Ahmadinejad takes office because it is determined at senior levels and by the supreme leader.
The United States contends that Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
The letter sent Wednesday said that Iran’s suspension of its enrichment program had been voluntary, and the work it was planning to resume was just a “minor step.”
Mohammad Saeedi, a senior official at Iran’s Atomic Organization, told ISNA news agency that Iran was conducting intensive negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear monitoring agency, to install surveillance equipment so that Iran could remove the agency’s seals at the site in Isfahan. The United Nations said Monday that the process could take a week to 10 days.
“Iran has told the agency that it would prepare all necessary facilities for the agency so that it can open the site in time,” Mr. Saeedi said.
Mr. Ahmadinejad has been cautious in his comments since his election on how he would change Iran’s foreign and nuclear policy.
At the ceremony on Wednesday, he made no direct reference to Iran’s nuclear program but said that “depriving nations of science and technology is a symbol of injustice.”
“The Islamic Iran wants all countries to have peace and stability,” he said. “Justice should be the criteria in international relations. Therefore any global threat, such as weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons, should be dismantled.”