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Iran open to nuke talks sans preconditions

Iran reaffirmed that it would not accept any preconditions before entering into formal negotiations.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2006 16:53 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Iran on Monday said it was ready to discuss all questions on its nuclear programme but reaffirmed that it would not accept any preconditions before entering into formal negotiations.

"We can have negotiations when there are no threats and preconditions. If there are preconditions then the negotiations will be diverted out of their course," government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters.

His comments came as French President Jacques Chirac said the suspension of Iranian uranium enrichment is not a "precondition" for opening talks on the dossier, the first time a European leader has made such a clear comment.

"As we have told the Europeans, we can discuss all the issues through the negotiations in the framework of logic, wisdom and based on international law and the world's recognised principles," Elham added.

"Within this framework, nothing is unsolvable, so all issues could be presented in the negotiations. There is no limitation for what could be discussed in the negotiation," he said.

The five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany have offered Iran a package of incentives for it to halt sensitive uranium enrichment, a process that can be used both to make nuclear energy and a nuclear bomb.

EU diplomats have said that Iran has offered to suspend uranium enrichment for two months in ongoing talks on Tehran's response to the offer but this has never been officially confirmed by the Islamic republic.

Elham would only say that reports that a decision had been made in the negotiations over a suspension of two months were a "bad interpretation".

"They have still not come to a decision, the negotiations are continuing and these depend on the capacity of the parties to follow a logical path that allows them to arrive at a result," he said.

Iran vehemently rejects US allegations that its nuclear programme is aimed at making a nuclear bomb, saying the drive is for civilian energy purposes only.

First Published: Sep 18, 2006 16:53 IST