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Iran says not interested in EU incentives

But Tehran says it only wants to generate energy, and argues that fuel cycle work for peaceful purposes is a right upheld by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) May 16, 2006
Iran reiterated Tuesday that it was not interested in an European Union offer of incentives in return for a halt to the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also expressed "surprise" that the EU was still working on putting such a proposal together given that Iran has consistently stated its refusal to agree to a suspension of nuclear work.

"If Europe is seeking diplomatic and peaceful solutions, it must not go beyond international treaties," Asefi said in a statement.

The West fears that Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon under cover of a civilian atomic energy programme and the EU is working on a package of trade and other incentives to try to coax the country into freezing sensitive uranium enrichment work.

But Tehran says it only wants to generate energy, and argues that fuel cycle work for peaceful purposes is a right upheld by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"No incentives are better than implementing the NPT and the IAEA rules without discrimination," Asefi said.

"Iran had informed the European side at the beginning of the negotiations that the aim is to make fuel for peaceful purposes, and Iran is not seeking anything beyond its rights and would not accept commitments beyond that," he added.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Monday the 25-nation bloc would offer Iran technological help as part of a deal involving a suspension.

But Asefi said: "It looks like after three years of negotiations and Iran's clear position... that Mr Solana still has doubts about Iran's rights. This is really surprising.

"Iran decision to obtain its right is definitive and irreversible."

Related Links

Iran leader slams 'world media empire' over nuclear coverage
Tehran (AFP) May 16, 2006
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday lashed out at world media coverage of the Islamic republic's nuclear programme, accusing news organisations of deliberately distorting the issue.







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