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. Iran insists on right to nuclear technology
TEHRAN (AFP) Nov 07, 2005
Iran on Monday insisted on its right to peaceful nuclear technology but said negotiations were the best way to solve disputes over its atomic programme.

"We insist on Iran's undeniable right in the (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and international law, which is our right to peaceful nuclear technology," said Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

"We consider negotiation to be the basis of relations over the nuclear issue," he said, speaking a day after Tehran formally asked the European Union to reopen stalled talks on the issue.

"In accordance with our beliefs, we are not seeking atomic weapons," he added.

Talks between Iran and the so-called EU-3 broke off in August when Iran resumed uranium conversion in defiance of international calls to maintain a full suspension of enrichment-related activities.

"We did not break the negotiations: Iran is committed to its agreements unless the other side defies them," Mottaki said, speaking at the opening of a conference on central Asia and Caucasus.

Iran on Sunday formally asked Britain, France and Germany to reopen the stalled talks, with top nuclear official Ali Larijani "insisting on the necessity of negotiations."

But officials said Iran would convert a fresh batch of uranium ore in a flagrant rejection of EU calls for a renewed freeze on such activities that prompted an EU diplomat to reject the Iranian request out-of-hand.

Iran refuses to go back on conversion and says it is only ready to negotiate as long as its right to enrichment is recognized.

A meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog in late November could theoretically send Iran to the Security Council amid mounting concerns about the direction of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government.

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