Iran, EU to resume nuclear talks


Tehran : Iran and the European Union (EU) are soon to resume talks over the nuclear dispute, said foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini Sunday.

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The spokesman, however, could not give an exact date and venue of the new round of talks between Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Hosseini said that further technical talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts on Iran’s P1 and P2 centrifuges were scheduled for this Tuesday.

According to the IAEA, Iran has fewer than 2,000 centrifuges working in its Natanz nuclear plant, and around 650 were installed but not yet operating.

The centrifuges are mainly believed to be the P1 type but Tehran also seeks to operate the more progressed P2 types for enrichment.

Hosseini said that although “one or two countries” planned to follow a course outside the Iran-IAEA agreement, “such a plan would hopefully not be materialized.”

Referring to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s letter on Iran’s P1 and P2 centrifuges written to the EU and seeking expansion of sanctions against Iran, the spokesman said the French initiative was “illogical and unrealistic” and had so far gained no results.

Hosseini said Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was preparing a letter to Kouchner to clarify that his new initiative would not change Iran’s nuclear course but just tarnish France’s image in Iran.

While reiterating Iran’s non-compromising stance on uranium enrichment suspension, the spokesman said any new developments would be based on the reports by IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei and Solana which are to be issued, in line with Iran-IAEA agreement, by November.

Iran and the IAEA agreed in August on a plan of action, which aims to remove all technical ambiguities by the IAEA over Iran’s nuclear projects and at the same time prepare grounds for political talks between Larijani and Solana.

Iran says that its nuclear programmes are just for civil and peaceful purposes, with enrichment-levels just at a maximum of five percent for producing nuclear fuel for its nuclear reactors.

The world powers, however, fear that Iran might use the very same process, but at a higher enrichment level, to make atomic bombs.

The West argues that as Iran has no nuclear reactors yet – and even the joint plant with the Russia in southern Iran is not yet completed – the country had no imminent need for nuclear fuel and hence no justification for uranium enrichment.