Saeed Jalili
Photo: AFP
Catherine Ashton
Photo: AFP

Iran: We have a right to enrich uranium

Saeed Jalili says Tehran needs to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity for peaceful purposes after nuclear talks with six world powers. Sides agreed to meet again in Baghdad on May 23

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said on Saturday Tehran needed to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity for peaceful purposes.


"Any right which is indicated in the Non-Proliferation Treaty should be respected," Jalili told a news conference after his country's first talks with six world powers in more than a year.


"Enrichment of uranium is one of these rights that every individual member state should benefit from and enjoy for peaceful purposes," he said.


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He also said progress was made during the talks and called for confidence-building measures when negotiations resume next month.



"We witnessed progress, there were differences of opinion ... but the points we agreed on were important," Saeed Jalili told a news conference after his country's first talks with the six powers in more than a year.


"The next talks should be based on confidence-building measures, which would build the confidence of Iranians," Jalili said, adding an Iranian request for lifting of sanctions should be one of the issues included.


A senior US administration official said the atmosphere in major power talks with Iran had been positive but there was an urgent need for concrete progress.


The official said dialogue in itself would not be sufficient for any sanctions relief for Iran. "Now we have to get down to the hard work ... the international community expects them to take action," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.


The EU foreign policy chief said the latest nuclear talks have been constructive and that the two sides will meet again in Baghdad on May 23.


Catherine Ashton said future talks will be guided by the "principle of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity." That indicates the international community is ready to reward Iran if it reduces fears that it may use its atomic program to make weapons.


She also said after the talks in Istanbul on Saturday that Iran has a right to a peaceful nuclear program. At the same time, she says the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty must be the "key basis" for future talks.


"We want now to move to a sustained process of dialogue ... We will be guided by (the) principle of step by step approach," Ashton told a news conference, calling the first meeting useful and constructive. "We will meet on May 23 in Baghdad."


AP and Reuters contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 04.14.12, 21:48
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