Iran's call for resumption of nuclear talks draws cool response
Iran on Tuesday called on the European Union (EU) to resume talks on its nuclear dispute with the West, but got a cool response from Britain


Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2006

  
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Iran on Tuesday called on the European Union (EU) to resume talks on its nuclear dispute with the West, but got a cool response from Britain.

In a letter to the EU trio -- Britain, France and Germany, Iran proposed that the talks restart immediately and said Tehran was ready to "remove existing ambiguities regarding its peaceful nuclear program through talks and negotiations," said an Iranian source in Vienna.

Tehran also wanted to pursue scheduled talks with Russia over Moscow's proposal to enrich uranium for the country in a joint venture to prevent any diversion for military use, said the letter from Javad Vaeedi, deputy head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

But a senior British official, on the condition of anonymity, described Iran's offer as "vacuous" because Tehran has "created the conditions to (make further talks) impossible."

Nevertheless, he added that a referral would not automatically lead to sanctions, saying, "We want to build gradual, sustained pressure over time."

Meanwhile, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, the Iranian representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Tehran's decision to resume nuclear fuel research was "irreversible."

Iran will halt IAEA inspections on its nuclear sites if its case is referred to the UN Security Council, Soltaniyeh said.

On Jan. 10 Iran resumed its nuclear research work which had been suspended for more than two years, incurring condemnation and the referral attempt of the EU and the United States.

On Monday, officials of the European trio as well as the United States, Russia and China held a closed-door meeting in London to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue.


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