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Iran rejects preconditions for nuclear talks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Aug 20, IRNA
Iran-Asefi-Nuclear Talks
Iran on Sunday once again rejected any precondition for holding nuclear talks.

"It is baseless to condition the nuclear talks to implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1696," Asefi told reporters at his weekly press conference.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran believes setting preconditions for negotiations will tighten the atmosphere for the two sides to reach a solution," he added.

"Why do they believe that the two parties should not negotiate in an open atmosphere?"

The spokesman said, "The UN Security Council's resolution was of no legal and lawful validity. Therefore, it will be unacceptable for Iran.

"It is not the way that five or six persons decide on one issue in contravention with the conventions still in force and the others accept," he said in reference to validity of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Asked about Iran's response to a package of incentives offered by the European Union, he said, "The Europeans have changed the path.

Instead of continuation of talks, they referred to the Security Council and changed the positive atmosphere."
Iran has said its response to the package would be ready by August 22.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran believes the nuclear case can be settled through negotiations," Asefi said
He expressed hope the case "would return to its main position".

"If the Europeans' attitude is rational, the package of incentives can settle problems. The package has still ambiguities and questions which should be answered."

In response to a question on the time Iran would present its response to the package of incentives, he said, "Iran has finished study on the proposed package and will present its response within the next two or three other days.

"We have told the Europeans since the beginning that August 22 will not be end of the world."

Asefi said that Iran's nuclear case is not complicated, adding, "There was no necessity for the case to be sent to the Security Council. A tie that can be opened by hand should not be opened with tooth."

Asked about topics to be raised during an upcoming visit to Iran of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the spokesman said, "Nuclear case will be among topics to be discussed.

"Iran welcomes Annan's visit and is drawing plans for the visit to take place within the next weeks.

In talks with Annan, we will express our views on improvement of the UN status."
Asefi added that Lebanon and regional and international developments would be among other issues to be discussed with Annan.

Pointing to Iran's cooperation with the UN and inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he said, "We hold talks with different states in this regard and do not assess it as a complicated issue.

"We should wait and see what decision is being made by Group 5+1 and Europe on Iran and will act in proportion with it."

He said Iran has caused no obstacle for the IAEA inspectors, adding, "Just in one case that the inspection was not within frameworks of the IAEA's duties, we called for a change of inspectors which was accepted by the agency.

Iran will continue its cooperation with the IAEA. Currently, all nuclear activities of the country are under the IAEA surveillance." Asked about the possibility of imposing sanctions against Iran, the spokesman added, "If the opposite side follows up logic and wisdom, the possibility of sanctions is not the question.

"But if the case was led to complication and the issue of sanctions is raised, the other party, the Europeans will undoubtedly lose.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has been under informal sanctions since the 1979 Islamic revolution and we can deal with consequences of such schemes.

"If the Europeans impose sanctions on Iran, they will damage all bridges behind them," Asefi said.

He added, "However, we are not pessimistic about the Europeans.

We do not think they intend to revise all issues and destroy all bridges behind them."

He said Iran enjoys great potentials, adding, "If other countries refrain from cooperating with Iran, they will sustain more damage (than Iran).

"The Islamic Republic of Iran reached a record position in several fields that has no need to others."

The spokesman stressed, "Iran decides on the basis of its national interests and will not give up its rights of access to peaceful nuclear energy under pressure or threats."

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