December 13, 2017
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Iran hopeful on atomic talks if 'rights' respected

If the world recognises Iran's "nuclear rights," negotiations aimed at easing a standoff with the West later this month could have a positive outcome, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

But Washington said Iran had to move first to make its nuclear work compatible with international law and demanded it let UN inspectors into a military site that the West believes has been used for weapons-related nuclear research.

Iran has been under UN sanctions for years due to questions over its uranium enrichment - a process that yields fuel for power stations, Iran's stated goal, but also for bombs, if done to a much higher level.

Tehran says that as a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it can develop a full nuclear fuel cycle, and, if this is recognised, talks with the permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, France, Russia, China, the United States - and Germany (the P5+1) can succeed.

"I hope the P5+1 group recognises Iran's inalienable nuclear right within the framework of the NPT and refrains from sitting on the sidelines," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying.

Under the persistent threat of military strikes by Israel and ever tighter economic sanctions from the West, Iran returned to nuclear talks that had stalled in early 2011.

Diplomats say Iranian negotiators were more forthcoming at talks in Baghdad last month than in previous negotiations, and believe the supreme leader has given them a freer hand to explore a deal.

Talks are due to resume on June 18-19 in Moscow.

"By accepting Iran's right to use peaceful nuclear energy, the forthcoming talks in Moscow should reach a favourable result," Velayati said.

Washington said Iran must make the first move.

"We have long said we recognise Iran's right as a signatory to the NPT to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, but only after it comes into compliance with its international nuclear obligations," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"What's at issue here is the fact they have not come into compliance," Toner told reporters. "If and when they come into compliance, at that point we'll address the possible civil use of nuclear energy."

A senior US official said it was urgent that UN inspectors be allowed into the Parchin military site, near Tehran, where the West believes Iran conducted weapons-related research and is now covering up the evidence.



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Tags:  iran  nuclear rights  united nations  un  united states  us  nuclear  

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