Iran has slammed world powers for imposing preconditions ahead of Saturday’s nuclear talks. The foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, stressed on Monday that “setting conditions before the meeting means drawing conclusions before negotiations.”
“None of the parties will accept conditions set before the talks,” Iran’s PressTV quoted Ali Akbar Salehi as saying, adding that Salehi branded the demands as “completely meaningless.”
The US insists that Tehran should suspend uranium enrichment, which they consider just a few steps from weapons grade, according to leaked reports. Washington also wants Iran to close its underground nuclear facility at Fordo near the holy city of Qom.
Israel is also demanding that Tehran discloses the entire history of its nuclear activity and opens all its nuclear facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Iranian FM says the Iranian negotiating team will ignore the demands brought to them by media reports and defend its position in the talks with the P5+1 group, consisting of the UN five permanent members (the US, the UK, China, France and Russia) plus Germany.
“We have our opinions and the P5+1 have theirs but we have to find common areas,” said Salehi.
Earlier, Iranian officials slammed the demands as “irrational” and prompted the US and Israel to “change their behavior and language.”
Nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 are set to resume in Istanbul on April 14-15. The bloc hopes to strike a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, which many Western countries suspect to be a cover-up for developing a nuclear weapons capability.
“We are of course aiming at a sustained process. We hope that this first round will produce a conducive environment for concrete progress, ” said a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton
Tehran may drop its 20-per-cent uranium enrichment
Iranian officials say Tehran is ready to suspend its high grade enrichment of uranium, but first they need to produce enough stock to meet their energy, research and medical demands.
The enrichment of 20-per-cent uranium is “based on our needs and once the required fuel is obtained, we will decrease production and we may even totally shift it to the 3.5 per cent,” Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, the director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) said, as cited by IRNA news agency.
Iran’s plans to produce the 20-per-cent enriched uranium are not permanent, Abbassi added. The enrichment may continue “for a few years” to build stock for the research reactor in Tehran. If no new research reactor is built by that time, the enrichment program may be wrapped up.