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Iran Uncompromising In EU Talks Offer

Larijani in the letter also said he hoped the trio "will have no illusion that the intrinsic rights of the Iranian nation, stipulated and guaranteed by the international norms and rules and regulations, can not be the subject of our negotiation domain."

Vienna (AFP) Nov 08, 2005
Iran's letter offering fresh talks with the European Union is uncompromising about its right to nuclear fuel work, which the West fears could give Tehran the ability to make atom bombs.

The letter, from Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani to the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, stresses Iran's "certain and indisputable right to have access to full nuclear fuel cycle and enrichment capability for peaceful purposes such as research, medical, genetics, agricultural and similar applications."

The letter, a text of which was obtained by AFP, says this right is "explicit and unambiguous" under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Larijani said in a BBC interview Tuesday that his offer to resume atomic talks with Europe was the "last word."

The talks broke off last August when Iran resumed uranium conversion, the first step in making enriched uranium that can be fuel for civilian power reactors but also the explosive core of an atom bomb.

Iran said last week it would continue with that work. It has suspended the crucial final step of actually enriching uranium, but EU leaders have said it must also stop conversion work if talks are to resume.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has also called on Iran to halt all fuel work and cooperate with an IAEA investigation into the nuclear program, which the United States claims hides secret weapons development.

Larijani told the BBC that the offer made Sunday to the Europeans "shows Iran's serious willingness to resume negotiations."

In the letter, Larijani points out that Tehran had allowed wider UN nuclear inspections, honoring an additional protocol to the NPT.

Iran had also "temporarily suspended all her legal and peaceful nuclear activities" with "the sole purpose of confidence building and to prove her good intentions and to clear the ambiguities and accusations by some countries," it says.

It accuses the European negotiating trio of reacting with "demands beyond the authority of the international provisions," including permanent suspension of the nuclear fuel cycle, and of resorting "to the obsolete, inelegant and contemptuous method of threats."

But Iran still feels that talks with the European negotiators, as well as bilateral talks with Russia, with China and with non-aligned states, "can play a constructive role in resolving this dispute."

Iran said it hoped that in new talks, the three European countries "will base their positions on a more accurate perception of the current situations in Iran and in the region, and will explore new ways of sustaining stability in the region and elevating the level of mutual confidence."

Larijani in the letter also said he hoped the trio "will have no illusion that the intrinsic rights of the Iranian nation, stipulated and guaranteed by the international norms and rules and regulations, can not be the subject of our negotiation domain."

He warned them "not to take advantage of the talks through procrastination and imposing illegal and excessive demands, which certainly would encourage Iran to secure her rights by other means .... and make the continuation of the previous voluntary undertakings irrelevant."

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