Ahmadinejad: Won't talk
Photo: AFP

Ahmadinejad: Iran won't discuss nuclear program

Iran's president insists 'nuclear rights non-negotiable' as Belgian firms come under suspicion of transferring enriched uranium to Tehran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday the Islamic state would not discuss the nuclear issue in proposed talks with major powers, state television reported.


His comments will likely further deepen Western skepticism about the chances of a negotiated solution to the long-running stalemate over Iran's nuclear program, which the United States and its European allies fear is a cover to build bombs.


"We have repeatedly said that our (nuclear) rights are not negotiable... We only hold talks to resolve international problems... to help the establishment of peace," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in central town of Qazvin.


Western diplomats have made clear they want Iran to address their concerns about its nuclear program in talks that the US, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and China have offered Tehran later this month.


In a letter dated November 9 and seen by Reuters, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, told European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton that he was ready to meet in Istanbul on November 23 or December 5.


A spokesman for Ashton confirmed the letter and said she would be discussing it with the six world powers, who have given her a mandate to hold talks with Jalili.


Ahmadinejad said Iran had always been in favor of talks held on a rational and logical basis, "but the Iranian nation will not let anyone to violate its rights... they should clearly announce their views about some international issues."


Ahmadinejad had listed conditions for any nuclear talks, including that the parties state their opinion on the reputed nuclear arsenal of Tehran's arch-enemy, Israel.


Meanwhile, two Belgian firms are suspected of transferring enriched uranium and zirconium to Iran, despite a new round of Western sanctions, Le Monde reported.


Kristof Calvo, a member of the Flemish Young Greens Party, says he discovered the deal on October 9 and filed a complaint with the energy minister.


The two companies, which for now remain anonymous, are currently being investigated by police, according to the report.


"This affair puts the country to shame, especially in light of the fact that Belgium is the current president of the European Union," Calvo said.



פרסום ראשון: 11.10.10, 11:54
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