Tehran cannot exchange its nuclear right for any economic incentives, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Tuesday.

"The key for this problem is in American hands. If America wants, it can improve Iran-US ties by changing its policies vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic and recognising the Islamic Republic as an effective regional power. Otherwise, no
solution can be offered from our side," he said.

"Our [nuclear] rights cannot be exchanged for any economic incentives. Removing the embargoes or similar incentives cannot remove our rights, but can be effective in improving ties and solving the problems between Iran and the United States in a comprehensive way."

Kharazi was referring to Washington's recent offer of economic incentives to try to persuade Iran to scrap its nuclear work.

Though the offer was considered a policy shift by Washington, Iran dismissed it as insignificant.

Incentives package 

On 11 March, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said: "We will make clear that we will lift our objections to an Iranian application to the WTO and that we are prepared to lift an objection to the licensing of spare parts for Iranian commercial aircraft."

Rice's efforts to woo Iran with
incentivers have been rebuffed

 

   

"The decision that the president has taken is that the United States will make an effort to actively support the EU3 negotiations with the Iranians," Rice added, referring to a British-French-German diplomatic effort to negotiate an end to Iran's suspected nuclear weapons programme.

   

The united approach marks a milestone in efforts to curb what Washington believes are Iran's attempts to develop nuclear arms. Iran has denied it is seeking atomic weapons and has said its civilian nuclear programme is for peaceful power generation.


The US decision to embrace economic incentives is a significant reversal from Washington's previous refusal to reward Iran for what it regards as bad behaviour.

Iran's proposals

Kharazi said Iran was ready to give assurances that it will not produce bomb-grade uranium.
   
"We do not intend to enrich to the level that is needed to make atomic bombs and have imposed a limit ... that we enrich to the level we need for nuclear [reactor] fuel," Kharazi said, referring to US accusations.

Kharazi said Iran had given its proposals, which he described as attractive, to the EU that can solve the problem, adding  it was up to the EU to respond to the proposal at a crucial meeting in Paris next week.

But he reiterated Iran's warning that it will withdraw from the talks and resume enrichment if it feels the EU is dragging its feet.