P5+1 Must Recognize Iran's 'Rights', Officials Say

Posted on: June 07, 2012 at 00:14
Iran's regime on Thursday 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 Khamenei, stressed that line in media reports a day after other officials claimed that the West was not showing enough willingness to negotiate.

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.''

Those tactics, he said, were getting in the way of a ''win-win scenario'' in Moscow.

The language used by both men alluded to Iran's enrichment of uranium, which Tehran says is permitted under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to power nuclear energy plants and to produce medical isotopes.

Despite Tehran's repeated denials, Western powers suspect the uranium is being enriched to give Iran a ''break-out'' capability to make atomic weapons.

The United States, its allies Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China, form the P5+1 group which is negotiating with Iran on the sensitive nuclear issue.

All but Germany are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, which has since 2006 issued a slew of resolutions demanding that Iran halt all enrichment.

They have imposed a raft of U.N. sanctions, which the United States and the European Union have added to with their own harsh measures against Iran's economy.

But two rounds of largely fruitless negotiations this year, in Istanbul and Baghdad, have left the talks with no breakthrough. The next round, in Moscow on June 18-19, is seen as crucial in determining whether any ground at all exists for a diplomatic solution.

On Wednesday, 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's envoy to the U.N. atomic watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said that ''Iran will not for one second freeze enrichment.''

Source:Agence France Presse
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