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. Iran hardliner accuses Europeans of bad faith in nuclear talks
TEHRAN (AFP) Mar 18, 2005
A leading Iranian hardliner accused European governments Friday of "deception" and "false promises" in their negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme.

"They decide to give incentives ... nobody believes such false promises," said Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, a conservative cleric who heads a powerful watchdog body that vets all legislation and candidates for public office.

"They are used to lying and blocking progress in other countries," he told worshippers at the main weekly prayers in theran in a sermon broadcast live by state television.

"Negotiations are nearing the end. Their time must be running out... they must end this coming year," he said, referring to the Iranian year that begins on Monday.

Iran is in the midst of negotiations with Britain, France and Germany, who have been trying to secure "objective guarantees" that the clerical regime will not use its atomic energy programme to acquire nuclear weapons.

In exchange, the three European governments are offering a package of trade, security and technology incentives.

The United States accuses Iran of using an atomic energy drive as a cover for developing nuclear weapons, and has threatened to take the issue to the UN Security Council.

"America is pressuring Europeans, who do not mind that. Nobody likes our possession of nuclear technology," Janati charged.

Ideally, the European Union would like Iran permanently to give up uranium enrichment, which makes what can be fuel for civilian nuclear reactors but also the explosive core of atomic bombs.

"They make excuses such as: we are scared of its future, we have to find trust. These are obvious lies and deception," Janati said.

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.

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