Xinhua: Iran will no longer hold talks with Britain, France and Germany, the so-called E3, on behalf of the European Union, Iran’s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced on Tuesday at a press conference held in the Iranian capital Tehran. BEIJING, Feb.20 (Xinhuanet) — Iran will no longer hold talks with Britain, France and Germany, the so-called E3, on behalf of the European Union, Iran’s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced on Tuesday at a press conference held in the Iranian capital Tehran.
“The phase of negotiations with the EU trio is over,” he said. “From now on, we will talk to the whole of Europe, but on a bilateral basis,” Mottaki emphasised. “We will resume discussions with individual countries on the basis of shared interests and in mutual respect, without preconditions,” he stated.
“The next round of talks with a European partner should start with ways for Iran to enrich the uranium it needs run its nuclear power plants,” Mottaki noted.
On Monday, after a day of talks with the European Union, he voiced optimism that a compromise could be found over Iran’s uranium enrichment ahead of a “very important” meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 6 March, which reports say could start a process leading to UN punishment against Iran.
Iran is facing moves by the international community to refer it to the UN Security Council – the UN’s top decision-making body – over its nuclear programme, after it removed IAEA seals on its nuclear plants last month when two-year-long talks with the E3 aimed at persuading Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions in exchange for trade and technology incentives, broke down.
Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and that it has a sovereign right to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.