Reuters: The Iranian foreign minister said on Wednesday Iran was ready to discuss the issue of suspending uranium enrichment in talks with the West but would seek to explain that Tehran believes any halt would be “illogical”. TEHRAN (Reuters) – The Iranian foreign minister said on Wednesday Iran was ready to discuss the issue of suspending uranium enrichment in talks with the West but would seek to explain that Tehran believes any halt would be “illogical”.
A package of incentives backed by six world powers demanded Iran suspend enrichment before starting negotiations. Iran has said it would respond to the proposal by August 22 but Iranian officials have so far given no indication they will accept.
“We are ready to discuss all the issues including the suspension. There is no logic behind the suspension of Iran’s activities. We are ready to explain this to them,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters.
Speaking during a trip to northwest Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iran’s student news agency ISNA as saying: “Iran is for negotiations, but we only accept fair negotiations and we do not accept abandoning our right.”
The president and other Iranian officials have said mastering the whole nuclear fuel cycle, including the enrichment process, is a national right.
The package of economic and other incentives was offered to Iran in June but Tehran’s self-imposed deadline of August 22 to respond was deemed too long.
Iran’s case was then sent back to the U.N. Security Council, which passed a resolution demanding Tehran halt the sensitive atomic work by August 31 or face possible sanctions.
“The resolution is illegal and politically motivated and has no value for us,” Mottaki said.
Iran says it wants to enrich uranium to make fuel for nuclear power plants. The West accuses Iran of using its civilian nuclear programme as a smokescreen to build atomic bombs.