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ARAB-EUROPEAN RELATIONS - Nov 27 - EU Offers To Restart Nuclear Talks With Tehran.

EU ambassadors delivers a letter in Tehran agreeing to renewed talks over Iran's nuclear programme. The move - in response to a request sent earlier this month by Iran's top security official Ali Larijani, comes after the EU and US stepped back from pressing last week's meeting of the IAEA to refer Tehran to the UN security council. The semi-official Mehr news agency reported talks would begin around Dec 10. But Iranian officials and politicians have publicly hardened opposition to a Russian proposal that EU diplomats believe could offer a compromise guaranteeing Iran would not divert enriched uranium into nuclear weapons. The FM spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi, said any talks would centre on the "materialisation of nuclear fuel production in Iran", apparently ruling out Moscow's suggestion that Iran enrich uranium in Russia. His remarks came after leading parliamentary deputies attacked the proposal. Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of parliament's security and foreign policy commission, said Iran could not rely on another country "to supply its nuclear energy needs". The conservative Kayhan newspaper, a long-term critic of talks with the EU, hailed the IAEA meeting as a victory resulting from Iran's "position of honour and dignity". "Much to the joy of the US and its allies, Iran has on several occasions retreated from its inalienable right to peaceful nuclear technology", Kayhan opined. "All these setbacks [for Iran] never gained the expected results, [but] instead, made the opponents even more voracious and aggressive..." In a similar tone, Pres Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad on Nov 26 told western nations they had "no right to tell Iran to cease its peaceful nuclear activities" and called for war crime charges against US Pres Bush. Ahmad-Nejad was addressing a rally of the Basij, an official militia, which claimed 9m members formed human chains across Iran to show willingness to defend the country from foreign attack. State TV aired footage of the Basij rally shot by Fox News, the right-wing US station recently allowed access to Iran. A European diplomat admitted the EU faced a challenge in convincing Iran time for compromise was limited.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Dec 2, 2005
Words:342
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