AFP: Iran rejected Tuesday a call by European ministers for it to heed a resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calling for a renewed freeze on all activities related to uranium enrichment.
TEHRAN, Nov 8 (AFP) – Iran rejected Tuesday a call by European ministers for it to heed a resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calling for a renewed freeze on all activities related to uranium enrichment.
“The various part of this declaration were put together with an extremist outlook and I’m against them,” the official IRNA news agency quoted top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani as saying.
“The Europeans want to harm the Iranian people’s will and determination by putting psychological pressure on Iran but they are making a mistake,” Larijani said at the closing session of a conference on the Caucasus and central Asia.
Responding to a letter from Larijani seeking renewed talks with the European Union on its nuclear programme, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw demanded Monday that Iran heed the IAEA resolution, which called principally for a renewed freeze on uranium ore conversion, the precursor to enrichment.
“The Iranians are under the obligation to respond positively to the resolution of the board of governors at the International Atomic Energy Agency in late September and we look to them to do that,” he said.
Larijani acknowledged that the European Union had yet to respond formally to his letter but warned that negotiation was not the only path open to Iran.
“The official position of the Europeans hasn’t yet been conveyed to us,” he said.
“It’s normal that they would need time to examine the letter.
“From our point of view, negotiation is not the sole solution for settling the nuclear problem but it is one of the ways. The letter we sent to the Europeans was aimed at showing that Iran was exploring all peaceful ways to guarantee the national rights of Iranians.”
Straw said “informal discussions” were continuing with the Iranians, despite the deadlock on the formal nuclear talks.
Larijani told the BBC Tuesday that his letter was “our last word to the Europeans”.
The Iranian request for new talks came three weeks before a November 24 meeting of the IAEA which could theoretically send Iran to the Security Council.