Iran calls for clear EU stance on Israel nuke weapons before talks

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator has sent a letter to the European Union's foreign affairs chief.

Iran calls for clear EU stance on Israel nuke weapons before talks

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator has on Tuesday sent a letter to the European Union's foreign affairs chief, saying that talks could be held as soon as September on issues including Tehran's nuclear programme.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said that Tehran could resume talks from September 1 with world powers over its atomic programme if its conditions were met.

Iran's state news agency IRNA said that Jalili in a letter toEU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that Tehran needs three questions answered by world powers before it can consider resuming talks.

In the July 6 letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, Saeed Jalili asked Catherine Ashton for reassurances on three issues before any talks are held.

These were that talks should aim to "engage and cooperate", should be "committed to the rationale of dialogue", and that Ashton should state her "position on the nuclear weapons of the Zionist Regime" -- a reference to nuclear-armed Israel.

Israel, which has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, often threatens the Islamic republic with an attack over nuclear programme.

"Turkey-Brazil role"

"Your response to this context could set the ground for our talks starting September 2010 in the presence of other interested countries, in order to remove common global concerns for the purpose of achieving peace, justice and prosperity," Jalili wrote.

Ashton, who is acting as a liaison for the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -- the main nuclear negotiators, often referred to as the EU3+3 -- has not said how she plans to respond to the letter.

Tehran has also made efforts to engage with other countries, including reaching a nuclear-fuel-swap deal with Turkey and Brazil in May. Jalili's reference to "other interested countries" appears to refer to them.

"The presence of other governments with likewise aspiration in these talks could help make these constructive dialogues more tangible," he wrote, without mentioning the governments by name.

On June 28, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared a two-month freeze on talks with world powers over Iran's nuclear programme, saying it was a "penalty" after the UN imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran despite Turkey-Brazil deal for fuel swap.

Turkey often calls for "fair" stance from global powers over nuclear activities in the region and slams what it calls "double standards".


Agencies

 

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2010, 17:53

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