"We welcome negotiations with the EU but the talks should
just be focused on Irans legitimate right to have peaceful nuclear technology and not on stopping uranium enrichment," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told state-run television. DPA
TEHERAN - Iran on Tuesday said it would not negotiate with the European Union over a halt to uranium enrichment, just as an inspection team from the United Nations nuclear watchdog arrived in the country.
"We welcome negotiations with the EU but the talks should just be focused on Irans legitimate right to have peaceful nuclear technology and not on stopping uranium enrichment," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told state-run television.
The minister said that the EU "Big Three" - Britain, France and Germany - had last October promised Teheran to persuade the international community of the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, but had failed to do so.
"We will continue talks to prove the peacefulness of our nuclear projects
to the world community but will not give in to any further demands such as stopping enrichment," Kharrazi said.
According to the Washington Post on Tuesday, the administration of US President George W. Bush is talking to European officials about a possible economic package of incentives for Iran that could encompass imported nuclear fuel.
Democratic challenger John Kerry has made Iran's nuclear proliferation a campaign issue. Bush has in the past insisted on penalties against Iran and rejected any idea of inducements.
In the meantime, an inspection team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived Tuesday in Teheran, the news network Khabar reported.
One of the main aims of the team is to inspect the Parchin military complex near the capital Teheran.
Iran has denied accusations the site is part of a nuclear weapons programme - previous inspections have discovered nothing at the site to back the accusations.
The visit of the new inspection team is a routine act effected prior to IAEA board meetings. The next IAEA meeting will take place in November in Vienna.