Iran upbeat on prospects for nuclear initiative

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that Iran's new initiative has provided good prospects for breaking the nuclear standoff, the official IRAN news agency reported.

"Iran's initiative has provided a good prospect for the UN nuclear watchdog and left no pretext for anybody," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying upon his arrival in Tehran from New York where he attended a UN summit.

"In case anyone intends to raise a pretext, they are just after seeking pretexts (to refer Iran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council)," Ahmadinejad added.

Ahmadinajed presented on Saturday to the UN General Assembly a long-awaited proposal in a bid to break the current nuclear standoff.

The centerpiece of his proposal is Iran is ready to involve foreign companies in its uranium enrichment program as a new confidence-building measure which Tehran believes can keep its nuclear program transparent.

Uranium enrichment is a key step to build nuclear power plant as well as nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad stressed that foreign involvement in Iran's enrichment work was a special offer.

"That we permit the public and private sectors of other countries to be partners in Iran's nuclear program and put part of our nuclear energy shares at the disposal of others is a special point in Iran's initiative," he said.

Iran unveiled this proposal just two days before the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) board of governors is to convene a meeting on Monday.

The European Union (EU) has pressed Iran to re-suspend its uranium conversion activities, threatening defiance will prompt a referral of Iran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said earlier Sunday that if the IAEA took the "radical and unilateral action" of referral, the atmosphere of Iran's nuclear standoff would "become radical".

Iran resumed conversion activities on Aug. 8 and rejected a comprehensive nuclear proposal submitted by the EU.

The EU has been trying to persuade Iran to abandon efforts to build a nuclear fuel cycle, but Tehran insists it will never give up its legal rights.

The United States accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the disguise of civil usage, a charge rejected by Tehran.

Source: Xinhua



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