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Iran calls for step-by-step approach to settle nuclear issue

Brussels, July 12, IRNA-Iran Tuesday called for patience and time to address all concerns relative to the nuclear issue and for negotiations to bear fruit.

"We must allow more time for negotiations to work," Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani told a press conference in Brussels Tuesday afternoon.

"I think all matters must be discussed and all concerns must be addressed and ground must be paved for confidence building. We should be able to go step by step to reach our determined goal," he told reporters at the residence of the Iranian ambassador in Brussels.

Earlier Tuesday, Larijani held four hours of talks with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana on Iran's nuclear case.

Senior diplomats from France, Germany, Russia and the UK also attended the meeting held at the EU headquarters.

Over lunch Solana and Larijani held a one-to-one meeting.

Solana told reporters that they had made a review of events that had taken place since the proposal was first presented about five weeks ago.

"Tomorrow I will have a meeting with the ministers of the six countries (in Paris) and I will report to them. We will make an analysis of the situation after this period of time and we will see how to proceed. Dr Larijani and myself will be in contact by phone to see how to proceed," said Solana.

The EU foreign policy chief traveled to Tehran on 6 June to present new EU proposals to resolve the nuclear stand-off.

Larijani said Iran has formed several committees to study and consider the EU package of incentives seriously.

"Whenever the committees announce the results of their work we will certainly communicate the outcome to our friends in Europe." "Of course, we insist that this work be done as soon as possible because reaching an understanding is in the interest of all sides," he said.

One EU diplomat described Tuesday's talks as "tough" but "useful." Larijani and Solana held a tete-for-tete dinner meeting in Brussels Thursday last week. Iran's top nuclear negotiator held talks in Spain, Switzerland and Italy with top officials of these countries before returning to Brussels Tuesday.

Larijani said the EU and Iran have decided to resolve the nuclear issue through negotiations and urged Europe to have more patience.

"We must be patient. We must build confidence. Negotiations can be a win-win situation," he said.

"In the meeting today (Tuesday) we have raised some issues in order to clear the way." Replying to a question on suspension of enrichment, he said there were ambiguities in the EU offer which needed to be removed.

But he refused to disclose what the ambiguities were, saying the two sides had agreed not to release the text of the EU offer.

"Iran has not committed any wrong in its nuclear program. We are a member of the IAEA and have signed the NPT. So we must enjoy certain rights," he said.

Larijani said he saw no reason for "being pessimistic." He condemned Western accusations that Iran was building a nuclear bomb as a "big lie." Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran's defence doctrine, he stressed.

Larijani also met Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhfostadt and the head of the Belgian parliament, Hermann de Croo.

... Payvand News - 7/12/06 ... --

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