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Iran ready to discuss nuclear issue without conditions: FM spokesman

Tehran, Oct 17, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi here Sunday declared Iran's readiness to hold talks about its nuclear issue without any conditions, but the outcome depends on the approach of both sides.

Speaking to domestic and foreign reporters in his weekly press briefing, he referred to the continued voluntary suspension of enrichment process and said that it depends upon the outcome of the negotiations.

In response to a question about Iran's insistence on resumption of uranium enrichment, he replied, "It is not a question of continuing the enrichment process, but rather to restore our undeniable right to it.

"In fact, we suspended the enrichment process voluntarily and based on agreement reached through negotiation, though it was not included in the IAEA resolution. But one point is clear: we will never ignore our rights and are not authorized to do so."

Asefi further noted that Europe should take note that mutual respect and confidence is required to reach a satisfactory result.

"We held fruitful talks with the Europeans in the past days and expect to continue the negotiations in the near future.

"The Europeans will soon realize that the trend should be followed up and there is no way to get away with it. They should actually accept that they cannot force Iran into anything," he added.

Asked about Iran's nuclear activity in Isfahan, he said that the project was earlier coordinated with the nuclear supervisory body.

"It was not a clandestine move. The project was a normal and experimental measure," he added.

Turning to the upcoming visit of a European delegation, he said that the exact date and the rank of the visiting officials are not yet clear.

In response to a question about the reference of IAEA inspectors to a multitude of ambiguities in Iran's nuclear dossier which would have a bearing on the closure of Iran's nuclear file in the November meeting, he replied, "We have been quite transparent and have been fully cooperating with the nuclear watchdog within the framework of NPT. Besides we have not violated peaceful purposes.

"If Iran's dossier had not been politicized, it would have been closed in the last meeting, given the agency's positive report on the issue. However, the declaration issued at the end of meeting was not in line with ElBaradei's report."

On the prospect of sending the dossier to the UN Security Council, he said that Iran is not worried about it, given that in that case the opponents will be the main losers.

"However, we see no reason for ending up in the Security Council, given our clear trend of negotiations with EU," he concluded.

... Payvand News - 10/17/04 ... --

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