Thursday, 11 November 2010

Ahmadinejad says Iran will not discuss its nuclear programme

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran will not participate in international discussions about its nuclear activities, expected to take place later in November. Last month, Iranian officials had agreed to take part in talks with six world powers at the invitation of EU foreign affairs Chief Baroness Ashton.

Speaking about the forthcoming meeting, Ahmadinejad said Iran was prepared to discuss regional security issues, but not its "basic right" to nuclear power. The talks have already been stalled for over a year, the six countries involved in the talks are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Russia, China, Britain and France – and with Germany.

Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is legitimate and will be utilised for peaceful purposes only, but the international community fears that it might be aimed at developing weapons.

The talks were expected to take place in November in Vienna, but Iran said it was would participate in talk if they were to take place between 23rd November or 5th December in Istanbul, Turkey, before Ahmadinejad's statement issues on Iranian television ruling-out any discussion of the nuclear issue.

"We have said that the talks be based on justice and respect. That means you [the West] have to climb down from your ivory towers and put aside your arrogance," said Ahmadinejad.

Source: BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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