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. Iran upbeat on prospect of fresh nuclear talks
TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 29, 2005
Iran is upbeat about the prospect of fresh nuclear talks and finding a diplomatic solution to an international impasse over Iran's nuclear program, a government spokesman said Saturday.

"The prospect of the negotiations is not negative as both the Iranian and the European sides believe in resolving the nuclear issue by diplomatic means," said spokesman Hossein Entezami, quoted by the student-run news agency

"Tehran has not set any pre-conditions for resuming the negotiations so we are hopeful about the continuation of negotiations," said Entezami, who is the new spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

The Council is headed by top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.

However, Entezami signaled that Iran was not likely to renounce its right to pursue a nuclear energy program, which it claims is for peaceful purposes but the United States believes is aimed at producing weapons, or to halt uranium conversion activities.

"Neither the government, nor the Supreme Security Council nor any other official in the country will allow themselves to haggle over national interests or any matter that could elevate the nation and boost its privileges."

Negotiations that had been ongoing for two years between three European nations -- France, Britain and Germany, also known as the EU-3 -- and Iran broke down in August when Iran resumed uranium conversion, a step in the enrichment cycle.

The EU-3 had offered nuclear, political and trade cooperation in exchange for guarantees that Iran's program was peaceful, told the Islamic republic that negotiations could not resume until they suspended all enrichment-related activities.

The EU-3 said that the best guarantee that Iran was not working to build a nuclear bomb would be for the Islamic republic to call a halt to all enrichment work.

Iran could be sent before the Security Council over its nuclear program, should the International Atomic Energy Agency so decide during its meeting at the end of November.

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