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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

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Iran Will Not Bargain Over Nuclear Rights in Future Talks

VOA News 07 December 2010

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili says his country is not willing to bargain over its nuclear rights in the next round of talks in Turkey.

At a Tuesday news conference in Geneva, he said Iran will not discuss halting its uranium enrichment with six world powers at a January meeting in Istanbul.

He commented shortly after Tehran wrapped up two days of talks with representatives of the five permanent U.N. Security Council and Germany, a group known as the P5 + 1. Jalili said the sides had only agreed to hold talks in Istanbul based on cooperation to find "common ground."

Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton released a statement on behalf of the P5 + 1. She said the January meeting would focus on "ways of cooperating towards a resolution of our core concerns about the nuclear issue."

At his news conference, Jalili also said world powers had seen that U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran had not impeded its economy. Western nations say sanctions are hurting Iran.

The Iranian official said Tehran is engaged in what he called a "major economic reform scheme." He said he hopes world powers will not repeat their "mistake" of miscalculating against Tehran again.

Many Western countries believe Iran intends to use its uranium enrichment program to build nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

As Jalili spoke, he displayed a picture of slain Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari. The scientist was killed in a late November bomb blast that Iran has blamed on the U.S. and Israel. Jalili said the "martyred" scientist managed to train hundreds of others before his death.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.



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