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Iran does not rule out talks on enriched uranium

17 april 2012, 13:21
0
United Nations and Arab League envoy for the crisis in Syria, Kofi Annan (L) listens to Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi. ©AFP
United Nations and Arab League envoy for the crisis in Syria, Kofi Annan (L) listens to Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Salehi. ©AFP
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday that Iran will not give up its right to enrich uranium, but hinted the level of enrichment is open to discussion, AFP reports.

The international community is concerned, particularly Iran's nemesis Israel, about Tehran's growing capacity to enrich uranium, which can be used for peaceful purposes but, when purified further, for a nuclear weapon.

"(The world powers) have reached a conclusion that they cannot turn a blind eye to Iran's capability and that Iran will not give up this right," Salehi told Iranian state satellite channel Jam-e Jam.

"Enrichment covers a wide range, from natural uranium to 100 percent enrichment, so one can talk with in this spectrum... it is too soon to talk about this issue and it is up to Baghdad meeting and I will not get into details," he said, referring to the next round of scheduled talks.

"We hope... that it will get us our right and their concerns will be addressed," added Salehi, who used to head Iran's atomic energy organisation.

Salehi's comments came after talks in Istanbul on Saturday between Iran and the six powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- the first in 15 months.

Tehran and world powers agreed in Istanbul to hold a more in-depth meeting in Baghdad on May 23.

Saturday's talks were aimed at generating the first steps towards building trust between the two sides and easing tensions built up over the West's suspicions Tehran wants a nuclear weapons capability.

The UN Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran due to suspicions that its avowed civilian nuclear programme is a cover for a secret atomic weapons drive, a charge Iran vigorously denies.

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