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2/26/07

Larijani: US should officially call for talks with Iran

Pretoria, Feb 25, IRNA - Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani said on Monday that the US should make formal request for talks with Iran if its relevant claim is true, and in that case Iran will approach it positively.


Ali Larijani

He told IRNA that if the US request is made through official channels and such talks prove to be constructive and rational, Iran will be prepared to consider it in a positive way.

In reaction to the remarks of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Washington is ready to enter into talks with Iran on the condition of suspension of its uranium enrichment, he said, "We give no credit to such stances revealed through media, given that by talking through media the American officials pursue other goals." The SNSC secretary underlined that any country willing to hold talks with Iran, should declare it through an official message.

"Iran will welcome just negotiations on the issue to solve the existing discords," he added.

Larijani said that the preconditions set by the US for holding talks with Iran are unacceptable and that this is against principles, given that they are expected to come up with a solution.

"Setting conditions means indicating the outcome of talks prior to holding them. Therefore, such a policy has not been answerable yet," he added.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator accused the US government of intensifying the Middle East crises, adding that Iran pursues the policy of promoting stability and tranquility in the Middle East.

Talks on Iran's peaceful nuclear program start in London

London, Feb 26, IRNA - Diplomats from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (5+1 Group) are meeting in London Monday for a fresh round of talks on the dispute over Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

The meeting comes after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported last week that sanctions imposed in December had no effect in forcing Iran to suspend its right of uranium enrichment programme as a precondition for talks.

The Foreign Office in London said that the meeting, which is being held behind closed doors, will be "the first of several exchanges that will happen over coming weeks."

"This is one of meetings at political directors level to assess the most appropriate measures and re-evaluate ways to persuade Iran," a spokesman told IRNA.

The so-called 5+1 countries have two choices of focusing on seeking ways of obtaining a breakthrough on restarting talks with Iran without any preconditions or discuss more sanctions.

The Foreign Office spokesman said that the pursuit was for a "diplomatic solution".

The officials from Britain, the US, France, Russia, China and Germany are attending the London meeting amid reports that it could take months again to sort out disagreements on any new measure.

The previous resolution in December imposing limited sanctions on Iran took months to work its way through the Security Council because of a lack of consensus.

A new agreement could prove even more difficult following reports that diplomats at the IAEA in Vienna disclosed that the intelligence claims made by the US about Iran's nuclear programme have proved to be unfounded and unreliable.

Academics have also questioned the basis of Iran's case being referred to the Security Council from the UN specialized agency, IAEA, because it has the right to enrich uranium like all states signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Uranium enrichment is at the level of Research and Development by commissioning less than 1,000 centrifuges.

According to provisions of the NPT, every member state is obliged to open its nuclear sites to the inspection of the IAEA.

Iran respects IAEA Safeguards Agreement and cameras of the UN nuclear agency have been installed on all Iranian nuclear sites.

Russian FM stresses negotiated solution to Iran's nuclear issue

Moscow, Feb 26, IRNA - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday stressed the need for a negotiated solution to Iran's nuclear problem.

"We will do all within our power to find negotiated solutions," Lavrov said at a Russian cabinet session, chaired by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

"Moscow will do everything, in accordance with the line that you have set, in accordance with your addresses to Iran's leadership and your contacts with the leaders of the countries that are among the 'six' (nations negotiating on the Iranian nuclear issue), to come to negotiated solutions," Lavrov said.

"Today, deputy foreign ministers of the six countries with the participation of Britain, France, China plus the EU meet in London.

They shall try there to find solutions that would allow using all possibilities and all levers in order to resume the talks," Lavrov said.

He said "The foreign ministers of Russia, the US, Germany held a meeting last week with the participation of Javier Solana of the EU, where further steps on Iran were discussed".

"They agreed to continue the work within the framework of the UN Security Council, where another report of IAEA has come, as well as in parallel with the participation of the leadership of IAEA, the Iranian side in order to try find a basis," Lavrov said.

... Payvand News - 2/26/07 ... --



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