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Suspension of uranium enrichment could be outcome of talks: Iranian official

TEHRAN, Oct. 22 (Mehr News Agency) -- Whereas the Islamic Republic has always emphasized the need for dialogue and compromise, the 5+1 group has apparently chosen the path of sanctions, which will make the situation more tense, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in Tehran on Sunday.

"There is another path, the path of negotiation and compromise. This is the path that we have chosen," Hosseini told reporters at a press conference.

He reaffirmed Iran's rejection of Western calls for Tehran to halt uranium enrichment before full negotiations begin, saying the issue could be discussed at such talks.

"The suspension of uranium enrichment does not have any place in our policy. We will not accept suspension as a precondition or during the negotiation, but if suspension is the outcome of negotiations, we can decide on it," AFP quoted him as saying.

"If the conditions of the negotiations were fair, this issue could be discussed," he added.

"Imposing sanctions will have regional and international repercussions. The Europeans already know this. If they impose sanctions, we will take appropriate measures," he stated.

Asked if such "regional repercussions" would have an effect on the Strait of Hormuz, a vitally important channel for transporting oil, Hosseini replied, "It depends on the nature of the sanctions."

Weeks of talks between Iran and the European Union aimed at finding a deal stalled over uranium enrichment. The EU was seeking an unconditional suspension before any negotiations could start.

Asked if Iran would pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if sanctions were imposed, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "When they approve it, we will make an announcement."

Hosseini blamed the influence of "certain countries or a certain country which is seeking adventure" for the collapse of the Iran-EU talks.

Germany, Britain, and France are now finalizing a draft sanctions resolution against Tehran.

... Payvand News - 10/23/06 ... --

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