EU not serious about N-talks resumption, says Iran

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TEHRAN - Iran Tuesday said the West, and in particular European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, were not serious enough about pursuing the resumption of nuclear talks.

“Both our president and foreign minister have declared our readiness to resume the talks and even proposed October or November as dates,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.

“But if the other side is seriously interested in talks, then it should gradually become more active,” he said.

No date or venue has been suggested by either side.

Mehmanparast accused Ashton of being far less active in pursuing the talks than her predecessor Javier Solana.

Observers said that as long as Iran refuses to suspend its uranium enrichment programme, which puts it in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions, engaging in talks remains futile.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top officials stress the talks should in the first place acknowledge Iran’s legitimate rights to pursue peaceful nuclear projects, which they insist include enrichment.

The UN Security Council, the US and some EU states have imposed economic sanctions on Iran over its enrichment drive and suspicions that it is secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Iran said it is ready to resume nuclear talks both at the political and technical level.

The political talks include the 5+1 group - Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany - which is represented by Ashton and focuses on persuading Iran to suspend enrichment in return for improved political and economic co-operation with the EU and even the US.

The technical talks concern a swap of Iranian low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel via Russia and France to be used in a medical reactor in Tehran and are supposed to be held with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Russia and the US in Vienna.

Filed under: Diplomacy

will not be displayed