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Path to compromise not closed, says Iran

Iran has said it is willing to discuss concerns about its suspected nuclear weapons ambitions and offer guarantees.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 18:04 IST

In an apparent softening of stance, Iran has said it was ready to compromise over its atomic programme and willing to discuss concerns about its suspected nuclear weapons ambitions and offer guarantees.

Pressure is mounting from US and European Union for referring Tehran to the UN Security Council.

"We are willing to discuss concerns about an alleged weapons programme and offer guarantees," Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijan told the BBC last night.

"We have not closed the path to compromise. In principle I believe some complicated international issues can be best solved through talks," he said.

"For obtaining nuclear fuel, there are many methods and formulas, and we can continue negotiations and use the different opportunities that there are in the world. I don't think the path is closed."

However, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltaneih threatened to withdraw cooperation with international nuclear inspectors if a decision was taken to refer it to Security Council, a move that could lead to international sanctions.

"The IAEA inspectors will no longer be allowed access to nuclear facilities if Tehran's activities are reported to the UN," Ali Asghar told the BBC News 24 channel last night.

The US and EU said there was no point in further negotiations unless Iran offered fresh proposals.

Britain, France and Germany, who have been trying to win guarantees that Iran will not use its atomic energy drive as a cover for weapons development, have called for an emergency meeting of IAEA on February 2 in response to Iran's resumption of nuclearresearch.

First Published: Jan 19, 2006 18:04 IST