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Iran's nuclear response an exceptional opportunity for talks: official

TEHRAN, Aug. 22 (Mehr News Agency) -- Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Deputy Director for International Affairs Mohammad Saeedi said on Monday that Tehran's response to the 5+1 group's nuclear offer will pave the way for the resumption of talks in order to reach a final compromise.

Iran had said that it would formally respond by Tuesday to a set of proposals made by the European Union trio of France, Britain and Germany and backed by United States, Russia and China. The six have offered Iran a package of economic and political incentives in return for a suspension of uranium enrichment by Tehran.

"Our response will provide an exceptional opportunity for Europe to return to the negotiating table to hammer out a compromise," Saeedi told the Mehr News Agency.

He described Iran's reply as comprehensive, saying that the Islamic Republic has tried to address all the concerns of the two sides in its response in a bid to find a solution that will benefit all parties.

"We have proposed ways to start negotiations to resolve the issue through dialogue," he added.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on July 31 giving Iran a month to halt its nuclear enrichment activities or face possible sanctions.

Saeedi said that suspension of enrichment could have been discussed in the past but it is not on the table for talks anymore.

"The package contains some ambiguities which have been raised in Iran's response," he noted.

The main ambiguity is that the presenters of the offer have cleverly ignored Article 4 of nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which refers to the improvement of nuclear technology in developing countries.

"They have just mentioned articles 1 and 2 of the NPT, which refer to deterrent issues," he explained.

"We have also mentioned that we are prepared for negotiations if they do not set suspension as a precondition," he said.

... Payvand News - 8/22/06 ... --

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