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Iran says offers talks without nuclear freeze

AFP [1]
Saturday, July 5, 2008

Iran is ready to negotiate with world powers on its nuclear programme but without suspending its controversial uranium enrichment work, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

“Iran will not go back on its rights on the nuclear issue,” Gholamhossein Elham said, in the first comments from Tehran since it handed over a response on Friday to an international bid to end the nuclear standoff.

“The will of the Iranian people is firm and will continue to follow the principles defined by the supreme guide (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” the spokesman said at a weekly news conference.

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“Iran insists on negotiations (with world powers) while respecting its rights and avoiding any loss of international rights,” he said, referring to Tehran’s refusal to give up on nuclear enrichment.

Iran on Friday delivered its response to a package drawn up by six world powers offering Iran technology and negotiations if it suspends uranium enrichment, which the West fears could be used to make atomic weapons.

Elham said his country was prepared to hold talks “especially with the 5+1 Group” of the UN Security Council members plus Germany “on the common points in the Iranian package and the offer of the world powers.”

Full article here. [1]