Iran seeks nuclear negotiations with EU, but refuses to give up enrichment
TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 12, 2004
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi called on the European Union Tuesday to come up with proposals that could solve a stand-off between Tehran and the UN's nuclear watchdog, but repeated a refusal to give up sensitive fuel cycle work.
"The Europeans have not respected their commitment, and it is time that they took a step and presented proposals that respect our legitimate right to use civilian nuclear technology and that provide the necessary assurances that that we will not seek to build an atomic bomb," he was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA.
But he added that "it is wrong to think that they can, through negotiations, oblige Iran to give up its right to uranium enrichment."
"Trust is reciprocal and can only be there if it is mutual," Kharazi said.
Iran has been told by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to suspend its fuel cycle work related to uranium enrichment pending the completion of a probe of the Islamic republic's nuclear activities.
Depending on the level of purification, enriched uranium can be used either as fuel for a civilian reactor or as the explosive core of a nuclear bomb.
The European Union's so-called Big Three -- Britain, France and Germany -- would like Iran to give up its work on the nuclear fuel cycle altogether.
Iran says it only wants to generate electricity, and emphasizes that enrichment is permitted under the NPT -- the treaty overseen by the IAEA -- if for peaceful purposes.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.