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Iran Stresses Diplomatic Solution to Nuclear StandoffSalem-News.com
Washington's push for additional UN penalties contradicts the report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's programs.
(TEHRAN (FNA)) - Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Monday that Iran wanted no confrontation in the dispute over its nuclear program and was optimistic about the future course of the nuclear talks with world powers.
"We have a forward-looking and constructive approach and believe that we can move forward towards an agreement with understanding," Saeed Jalili said after returning to Tehran from talks in Europe.
He was referring to remarks by US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack who said Tehran should either chose cooperation or confrontation.
"These are indeed the two options but for all relevant sides: either an approach based on cooperation and constructive willingness or the opposite," Jalili said.
Jalili met Saturday in Geneva with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and representatives of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in a bid to find a way to settle the dispute.
The talks aimed to define a time-table for main negotiations between the relevant parties. During the meeting, the two sides agreed to meet again in two weeks.
"The issue of enrichment suspension was not raised in the talks in Geneva but rather the timetable for future talks," Jalili said.
He, however, reiterated that Iran was serious about pursuing constant negotiations to settle the dispute and using the points that both sides agree upon as a road map for future negotiations.
The Western powers claim that Iran might be using its nuclear program to work on a secret military project, but they don't have any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations against the Islamic Republic. Tehran vehemently denies such charges, and says its nuclear programs are merely aimed at civilian purposes and in line with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules and regulations.
Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.
Tehran has dismisses West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.
Iran has also insisted that it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.
Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, and repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed after it answered the UN agency's questions about the history of its nuclear program.
Yet, the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
Washington's push for additional UN penalties contradicts the report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seems to be completely irrational.
The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.
In a major shift of policy, Washington for the first time sent its third highest-ranking diplomat - Undersecretary of State William J. Burns - to the Saturday talks between Iran and the West.
The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States' espionage center at its embassy in the heart of Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.
Observers believe that the shift of policy by the White House happened after Bush's attempt to rally international pressure against Iran lost steam due to the growing international vigilance.
US President George W. Bush finished a tour of the Middle East in winter to gain the consensus of his Arab allies to unite against Iran.
But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush's allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.
Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure against Iran unjustified, stressing that Tehran's case should be normalized and returned to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the Islamic Republic's increased cooperation with the agency.
Courtesy: FARS News Agency
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