Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Iran Said Nuclear Program Is Its Non-Negotiable Right
Iran said on Tuesday it views its nuclear activities as a non-negotiable right, but confirmed they will be discussed in mooted talks with world powers aimed at defusing a crisis containing the seeds of a new Middle East war.
"The issue of our country's peaceful nuclear activities will be on the agenda of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany)," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a televised briefing. "Our main demand is recognition of our right to possess the (nuclear) technology for peaceful purposes," Mehmanparast said. "That right has been achieved, and we don't think there is a negotiable issue regarding our nuclear activities."
Mehmanparast's comments came on the second day of a two-day visit by officials from the UN nuclear watchdog for talks focused on "possible military dimensions" of the nuclear programme.
The ministry spokesman said the aim of the visit by officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency was not inspections but to talk about "a framework to pursue dialogue and cooperation between Iran and the IAEA."
An IAEA visit to Tehran late last month was inconclusive.
Tensions have risen dramatically this year over Iran's nuclear programme, which much of the West suspects includes research to develop atomic weapons.