AFP: Iran warned Wednesday it would reject a European proposal aimed at defusing a nuclear standoff if it does not respect Tehran's rights to master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. "Any proposal must recognise our legitimate rights," Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said. AFP

TEHRAN - Iran warned Wednesday it would reject a European proposal aimed at defusing a nuclear standoff if it does not respect Tehran's rights to master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

"Any proposal must recognise our legitimate rights," Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said.

"Civil nuclear technology ... is one of the legitimate rights of any country. We do not accept any proposition which does not respect our rights," he told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Tehran.

Iran is under international pressure over its nuclear activities amid US allegations it could be secretly trying to build nuclear weapons, charges Tehran vehemently denies.

Iranian officials are to attend a meeting in Vienna on Thursday with British, French and German officials to hear their new proposals on a halt to its nuclear enrichment activities.

The three European Union states are due to present new proposals in the hope Iran will halt its controversial work on the nuclear fuel cycle in exchange for possible diplomatic and trade incentives.

"We are in favour of having discussions with the Europeans. We have made our own proposals and await their response," Aghazadeh said.

The foreign ministers of Britain and Germany issued a joint warning to Iran on Tuesday to address concerns raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about its nuclear programme.

"Iran has yet to give us the confidence we need about its intentions," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said.

In September the IAEA called on Iran to "immediately" widen its suspension of uranium enrichment to include all related activities, which it has so far refused to do.

Iran faces a November 25 deadline, after which it risks being referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

But Aghazadeh insisted Tuesday that the Islamic republic wanted to enrich uranium to provide fuel for its future nuclear power plants.