Iran denies talks with EU at impasse

Iran has denied that its negotiations with three major European powers over its nuclear programme are at an impasse, according to the Iranian press.

    Tehran says its nuclear activities are peaceful

    The comments by foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi on Thursday came after the emergence of reports that the EU was hardening its stance towards Iran and calling on Tehran to completely dismantle its nuclear fuel programme in order to guarantee that it does not seek atomic weapons. 

    "The publication of such reports is aimed at overshadowing the constructive nature of the negotiations and demonstrates the discontent of those who are not satisfied with their progress and are trying to prevent their success," Asefi was quoted as saying. 

    Confidence-building measure

    Iran, accused by Washington of trying to build an atomic bomb, has suspended uranium enrichment as a confidence-building measure but the EU now wants the Islamic republic to definitively abandon enrichment as well as any activities for making plutonium. 

    According to a report on a closed-door meeting in Geneva this month, representatives of Britain, France and Germany told Iran that "nothing short of full cessation and dismantling of Iran's fuel cycle efforts would give the EU3 the objective guarantees they need that Iran's nuclear programme is peaceful". 

    Iran says that its nuclear activities are peaceful and that the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty guarantees its right to peaceful enrichment activities.



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