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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:11, April 11, 2005
Iran optimist about upcoming nuclear talks with EU
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Iran on Sunday voiced optimism about the next round of nuclear negotiations with the European Union (EU) on April 19, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"The prospects of the negotiations are more positive than the past and we hope we will take an unreserved positive step in the next meeting," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.

Asefi said Iran expects the two sides to "reach a tangible outcome on giving definite guarantees" in the next round of negotiations.

"Today, almost a majority of the European countries have recognized Iran's right to have peaceful nuclear technology and the only issue is definite guarantees on which we will reach a conclusion in the next negotiations," he said.

The spokesman however refused to disclose details of a plan offered by Iran as part of the country's proposal to reach breakthrough in the standoff, but reiterated Tehran's determination to produce nuclear fuel by its own.

"Any plan offered by Iran is based on the principle that we never give up uranium enrichment and that the suspension of enrichment is temporary and voluntary," Asefi said.

Since Iran suspended its highly sensitive uranium enrichment activities on Nov. 22, 2004, Tehran and the EU have held five rounds of negotiations which were stalled with the discrepancy over the so-called objective guarantees of the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program.

The EU insisted that Iran could provide the objective guarantees only by permanently halting its work on building nuclear fuel cycles, including the activities related to uranium enrichment.

For its part, Iran rejected the demand, saying it will not give up its legal rights.

The United States has accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, a charge denied by Tehran and termed as politically motivated.


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