Iran says nuclear swap will not be discussed in talks

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 9, 2010 21:31

Earlier report says the Islamic Republic is ready to talk with 5+1 in Turkey later this month; western countries say no talks have been scheduled.

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Workers in the Bushehr nuclear power plant

Bushehr pic newer. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Iran on Tuesday responded to reports that it had agreed to meet with the "5+1" group later this month by saying that it absolutely will not be discussing a nuclear fuel swap, AFP reported.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that "under no condition will we discuss the issue of fuel swap in our meeting with the 5+1 group," according to the report.

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Earlier in the day, reports surfaced that Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had declared his country's readiness to enter nuclear talks with the international community, saying that they were to take place in Turkey later in the month.

It was not immediately clear, however, whether the mothballed negotiations could be restarted as quickly as next Monday — under the Iranian proposal carried by the semiofficial Mehr news agency.

Iran also has sent mixed signals in the past over its willingness to discuss Western demands to curb its nuclear ambitions, including sending counter-proposals and using delaying tactics that effectively brought talks to an impasse.

Responding to the earlier report, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said no firm date has been set for the talks, Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

However, western countries all said that they had received no official confirmation that Iran was attempting to schedule the nuclear talks. In Paris, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said there was "no confirmation" through official channels about the time or place to resume talks.

The French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Valero, said there is still no official response from Iran. "For us, it's very simple on Iran. We are still waiting for a concrete response from Iranian authorities to our proposals made to them — about where, when and about what. We are still waiting for that," he said.

"We don't have any indications" about a November 15 date in Turkey, he added.


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