Iran calls new EU sanctions 'contradictory'

May 24, 2011 18:16


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TEHRAN - Iran said on Tuesday that a new round of European Union sanctions against it was contradictory to the EU's stated desire to return to talks.

EU foreign ministers expanded sanctions on Monday, reflecting their frustration over a lack of progress in talks with Tehran over its nuclear program. "(Imposing) sanctions at the same time as talking about the pursuit of talks shows the contradiction between what the EU and the West claim and what they do," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference.

Two rounds of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- plus Germany -- in Geneva in December and in Istanbul in January, did not reach any substantive result, but both sides have said they are in principle willing to resume talks under the right conditions.

World powers in March told Iran "the door remains open" for dialogue on its disputed nuclear program -- Tehran denies Western charges that it intends to develop a nuclear weapon -- and that Tehran must cooperate with the U.N. atomic agency to resolve concerns.

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