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Iran touts new nuclear initiative
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-28 02:06:44

    TEHRAN, Aug. 28 (Xinhuanet by Zhang Shengping, Chen Wendi ) -- Taking over a nuclear standoff, Iran's new conservative cabinet has been promising to put forward a new initiative to solve the deadlock.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Sunday that Tehran would present its nuclear initiative within 45 days, referring to a proposal already promised by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    "The comprehensive initiative will lead to a breakthrough in thecurrently stranded nuclear negotiations with Europe, if the Europeans refrain from any precondition they have set on the negotiations," Asefi said.

    Later in the day, Ali Aqamohammadi, spokesman of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the body in responsible for nuclear talks, told the official IRNA news agency that the new initiative has been studied by the council in four sessions but more meetings will be held to finalize it in two weeks.

    Ahmadinejad on Aug. 9 announced his intention to submit a new comprehensive nuclear proposal in a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    "We are ready to proceed with (the nuclear) talks. Of course, I will put forward initiatives in this respect after forming my cabinet," the new president told Anna one day after Iran resumed uranium conversion activities and raised international worries about the prospect of a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear issue.

    Since then, Ahmadinejad and other top officials have restated the pledge for several times but have not revealed anything in detail so far.

    Ali Larijani, Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator and SNSC secretary, also joined the chorus of touting the new initiative.

    He said on Saturday that the president's proposal would cause a breakthrough and major changes in negotiations over the country's nuclear program.

    Aqamohammadi told IRNA that the proposal just "deals with Tehran's nuclear issues in an strategic way" and is "aimed at lifting barriers to talks between Iran and Europe."

    In parallel with these vows over the initiative, Iranian officials have also been waving invitation cards to other countries, with an aim at expanding its nuclear negotiations with the European Union's big three, namely France, Germany and Britain,to multilateral consultation.

    Ahmadinejad said on Aug. 21 that Iran would not tolerate some certain countries gaining billions of US dollars from Iran but always condemning Iran and intervening in the country's domestic affairs.

    The strongest message came from Larijani, who on Thursday urged the EU to take a logical stand in the nuclear negotiations and stressed that the EU's role in the nuclear talks had been extensively doubted.

    "Not only many members of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) but also a number of other European countries have questioned about the connection and frame based on which the European trio had been selected to represent the European states and the agency," the new chief negotiator said.

    On Saturday, Larijani wrapped up a visit to the headquarters of the IAEA in Vienna and told reporters in Tehran that Iran would hold nuclear talks with more countries.

    "Iran's negotiating partners need not be limited to the three European countries since other European countries can also play a favorable role in Iran's nuclear issue. I do not agree that the European countries are acting on the behalf of all nations," he said, proposing Russia, China and the NAM.

    A similar intention was echoed by Asefi in his Sunday's briefing.

    "Iran will continue to negotiate with the EU, but we will not restrict the negotiating partners to the European trio of Britain, France and Germany," Asefi said, citing Malaysia and South Africa.

    "However, that does not mean that we will rule out the European trio. We just want to talk with all countries and our principal negotiating partner is the IAEA, " Asefi added. Enditem

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