Iran wants fresh nuclear dialogue, may talk to US
MALAYSIA: Iran said it wanted to resume nuclear negotiations with the
EU and could even talk to Washington if its arch-foe "changed behaviour".
Tehran also said it was willing to negotiate on the number of
uranium-enriching centrifuges it uses for research, but stressed it
would not stop running the devices entirely as the U.N. Security Council
has called for.
Washington, which along with its allies suspect Iran could use even
limited enrichment facilities to master the technology required to make
atomic weapons, dismissed the overture.
Tehran says it seeks nuclear energy only for electricity.
The five Security Council permanent powers and Germany will meet in
Vienna on Thursday in hopes of finalising a package of incentives for
Iran to halt enrichment along with penalties if it keeps defying
international pressure, officials said.
Iran has vowed that nothing will dissuade it from having full-fledged
nuclear technology on its soil, spurring one senior EU diplomat to say
on Tuesday that the painstakingly crafted incentives could end up an
"academic and theoretical exercise".
"Europeans should consider irreversible realities in any proposal
they plan to offer Iran," Iranian deputy atomic energy chief Mohammad
Saeedi said, alluding to Iran's first successful production of fuel for
atomic power plants, announced in April.
"If they ignore these realities, any proposal will surely face
difficulties," he told a Tehran University gathering.
Speaking in Malaysia, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tehran
could resume dialogue with the United States, after a 26-year official
freeze, if Washington changed its behaviour.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the European Union would
welcome direct talks between the United States and Iran, but it was for
Washington and Tehran to decide.
"As far as direct contacts between the U.S. and Iran, as you know
they've spent 20 years not talking to each other," he said.
"A logical analysis would say that that should come to an end because
Iran is going to be a very important player in the world. But this is a
decision that ... they have to take."
Mottaki said Iran had told Britain, France and Germany it wanted
fresh negotiations to resolve the nuclear stalemate. The "EU3" has said
Iran must reinstate a suspension of uranium enrichment under which
previous negotiations proceeded.
The United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany aim to
wrap up a "carrots-and-sticks" package for Iran at Thursday's meeting of
foreign ministers in Vienna.
"We hope the meeting will achieve positive results," Chinese Foreign
Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in Beijing. Putrajaya, Wednesday,