Iran Nuclear NewsEU refutes Iran 'inactive' charge in nuclear talks

EU refutes Iran ‘inactive’ charge in nuclear talks

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AFP: European Union Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton has received no written response from Tehran to offers to resume talks on its nuclear programme, her spokeswoman said Wednesday.

BRUSSELS (AFP) — European Union Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton has received no written response from Tehran to offers to resume talks on its nuclear programme, her spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“We offered to meet them at different levels, last time in New York (on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly), and our readiness to meet them is still there,” Maja Kocijancik told AFP.

“We haven’t received anything in writing in response to our offers in the last weeks,” she added.

Tehran this week blamed Ashton for the stalemate in talks, urging her to be “more active” in pursuing the dialogue.

“Basically, it seems that the volume of Ms. Ashton’s activity is lower,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.

Ashton represents the six world powers — the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany — in negotiations with Iran.

Mehmanparast directly blamed her for the stalemate. “If she is really eager for negotiations, she should be more active,” he insisted, adding that her predecessor Javier Solana was “more active.”

“We have announced our readiness for negotiations. But the other side … is not really following up, or is not serious” about resuming the dialogue, he said.

Dialogue between Iran and the six powers has been stalled since October 2009, when the two groups last met in Geneva.

The negotiations aim to address international suspicions that Iran is seeking to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.

Last Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tehran considered late October or early November an appropriate time for a resumption of the talks but a spokesman for Ashton said no date had been set.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had declared a unilateral ban on talks until the middle of September after the Islamic republic was hit with new sanctions by UN Security Council on June 9.

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