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Iran not to accept any precondition to nuclear talks: FM

04-10-2012 08:57 BJT

TEHRAN, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Monday that his country will not accept any precondition to the upcoming nuclear talks between Iran and the UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany (G5+1), local satellite Press TV reported.

Salehi's remarks came as Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) confirmed Monday that the fresh nuclear talks between Iran and the G5+1 will be held in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday, April 14.

SNSC also announced that both Iran and G5+1 agreed that the next round of talks will be held in Iraq's Baghdad and the time for the meeting will be announced in Istanbul, the state IRIB TV reported.

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the United States and its Western allies would set demands for the upcoming negotiations on Iran's disputed nuclear program. The demands include immediate closure of the fortified underground Fordo nuclear facility in central Iran and a freeze on 20-percent uranium enrichment.

According to the report, the Western officials said that their "urgent priority" was to get Iran to give up and ship out of the country's stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity, and to get Tehran to close Fordo.

In response, Salehi said Monday that "setting conditions before the meeting means drawing conclusions before negotiations, which is completely meaningless, and none of the parties will accept conditions set before the talks," according to Press TV.

"These issues are merely media speculations and we cannot base our judgment on issues reflected in the media," said Salehi.

"We must reach common grounds in the nuclear talks", he was quoted as saying.

On Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran wants nothing beyond the rights enshrined by Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Ahmadinejad criticized G5+1 for setting unilateral demands in the nuclear talks, saying that the two sides must consider each other's demands in the negotiations.

However, he said that Iran will put forward practical proposals in the upcoming nuclear talks with G5+1.

Also, head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoon Abbasi said Sunday that Iran will not stop high-grade uranium enrichment, however, Iran will not enrich 20-percent uranium beyond its needs, because it is not cheap to produce and to keep it.

"We will produce (20-percent uranium) to the amount to meet the needs of Tehran research reactors and the reactors that we are planning to build in the future," said Abbasi.

Abbasi also said that Iran will not close down the underground Fordo enrichment site near the central city of Qom under the West pressure.

"The demands of G5+1 to suspend the (enrichment) activities in Fordo site is illogical," said the Iranian atomic chief, adding that building a nuclear site underground is a countermove to the strike threats by some countries.

On the other hand, Michael Mann, a spokesman of EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Sunday that "we (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) hope that this first round will produce a conducive environment for concrete progress. We are of course aiming at a sustained process," he said.

The United States and its allies suspect Iran's nuclear program as a guise for weapon-grade activities, however, Iran insists that its nuclear program aims at "peaceful" ends.

Recently, Western media reported that under the Western sanction pressures against Iran over its controversial nuclear program, Iranian officials are likely to show an inclination for bilateral talks with the United States.

Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in his recent comments on the Iran-U.S. relations, said that just as with other world powers, the Islamic republic needs to establish relations with the United States.

Meanwhile, a high-ranking Iranian official said Monday that bilateral negotiations with the United States is not on Iran's agenda, local media reported.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said that "negotiations with the United States has never been on the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran," official IRNA news agency reported.

Firouzabadi said that critical issues, like the negotiations and relations with the United States, fall within the jurisdiction of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to the report.

The United States cut diplomatic relations with Iran on April 7, 1980, after a group of Iranian students seized U.S. embassy in Tehran and captured some 60 U.S. diplomats in 1979. In the hostage crisis, 52 of the U.S. diplomats were held in captivity for 444 days.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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