Iran rejects US conditions for nuclear talks
Foreign Minister Mottaki said Iran was ready for negotiations but unwilling to freeze sensitive nuclear work.Updated: Jun 01, 2006 14:49 IST
Iran on Thursday rejected US conditions for talks over its disputed atomic programme, saying it was ready for negotiations but unwilling to freeze sensitive nuclear work.
"We support dialogue in a fair and unbiased atmosphere, but we will not talk about our undeniable and legitimate rights, because this is the right of our people according to international laws and treaties," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters.
"We are ready to talk about common concerns and if the conditions are such in a way that we have outlined ... We are ready to negotiate with all parties," he said.
In what has been regarded as a major policy shift, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that Washington was ready to enter the European-led negotiations on Iran's nuclear ambitions if Tehran suspended uranium enrichment activities.
Enrichment can be extended from making civilian reactor fuel to the core of a nuclear weapon, but Iran insists its activities are strictly peaceful and therefore enshrined as a "right" under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But Mottaki said that Rice's statement -- which also touched on US concerns over Iran's human rights record and its alleged support for terrorism -- "did not have any new words in it".
"They have repeated their old words. A new solution and a logical solution for the nuclear issue was not seen in the declaration," said Mottaki, giving the Islamic republic's first reaction to the US proposal.
First Published: Jun 01, 2006 14:42 IST