Iran ready to include nuclear dispute in talks

Monday, October 18, 2010

TEHRAN - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s deputy Monday said that Iran would be willing to address the dispute over its nuclear programme in forthcoming talks, even though the Iranian leader has so far declined to discuss it with world powers.

“We are ready to also discuss the fuel swap issue at the talks with the 5+1 group,” Vice President Ali-Akbar Salehi, who heads Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, told the ISNA news agency.

The talks, scheduled for Nov 15 in the Austrian capital Vienna, are to be led by the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saedi Jalili.

Ahmadinejad had so far always stressed that Iran would only discuss the nuclear issue with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and not the 5+1 group, which comprises the US, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.

Salehi had previously also said that Iran wants technical talks about a swap between Iranian low-enriched uranium and nuclear fuel for a Tehran medical reactor to be held only with the IAEA, Russia and the US in Vienna.

The talks with the 5+1 were supposed to be of a political nature, including for instance an Iranian package on how to improve the global political climate, tackle the economic crisis and realise nuclear disarmament worldwide.

Ahmadinejad Sunday welcomed the resumption of nuclear talks with world powers, but reiterated that Iran would make no compromise whatsoever on its nuclear programmes.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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