(photo credit: AP)
Iran is prepared to discuss the suspension of uranium enrichment activities - if the UN Security Council closes its file on Teheran's nuclear program, Iran's foreign minister said Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran will continue to insist on its right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology, but would be open to discussing "all issues." Mottaki was in Geneva to address the UN's conference on disarmament.
"We have been proposing the suspension of the resolution within the Security Council and on all sides putting into force the Additional Protocol (to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)," Mottaki told reporters. "And then we will be able to sit and talk about all issues. And if they wish, they can raise the issue of suspension there."
He said Iran was committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the standoff over its nuclear program.
"If there are concerns for the future of the (nuclear) activities, we can find a framework through negotiations," he said, speaking through a translator.
Mottaki's indication that Iran does not rule out making concessions on its nuclear program comes at a time when Western diplomats are preparing a new round of sanctions intended to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, which Washington and some allies say is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
Diplomats in New York said the new sanctions are expected to include an embargo on arms exports, a ban on government loans to Iran and an asset freeze on more individuals and companies linked to Teheran's nuclear and missile programs.
Mottaki's demand that all the other countries should implement the Additional Protocol to the NPT before Iran would ready to make concessions is a point repeated by the country, which has come under increasing international pressure since it stopped implementing the protocol and resumed nuclear fuel research in January 2006.
The protocol allows the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct surprise inspections of its members' nuclear facilities, and inspect other facilities not officially declared as nuclear sites.