Iran not backpedaling ahead of nuclear talks

Iran not backpedaling ahead of nuclear talks

TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Iran not backpedaling ahead of nuclear talks

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. AFP photo

Iran’s regime yesterday underlined its message that Western powers must recognize Tehran’s “right” to uranium enrichment if upcoming talks in Moscow are to advance.

Two key officials with top advisory positions to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, stressed that line in media reports a day after other officials claimed that the West was not showing enough willingness to negotiate. Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency are to hold a new round of talks in Vienna today.

Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s top adviser on foreign policy, said in a Fars news agency report that the world powers involved in the Moscow talks needed to adopt a “realistic” approach on “Iran’s just rights.” Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president who now chairs the Expediency Council that advises Khamenei, said, according to the Mehr news agency: “The West must realize the path to success in talks is through acceptance of Iran’s just (nuclear) right.” Rafsanjani, seen as a pragmatic voice in the regime, added that the recurring use of Western “threats, sanctions and pressure must also be refrained from.”

‘Negotiations even in Beijing: Ahmadinejad’

On June 6, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the P5+1 of setting out to “waste time” in the Moscow meeting, while Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, also said he doubted the willingness of world powers to see the Moscow talks succeed. “Iran is ready to pursue negotiations in Moscow, and even in Beijing, and has made good proposals,” Ahmadinejad said.