Iran rejects nuclear dialogue

Ahmadinejad offers to debate Obama, but will will only meet the IAEA on nuclear issues.

    Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that Iran will not stop enriching uranium [File: AFP]

    Javier Solana, the European Union foreign minister, held talks with Said Jalili, Iran's nuclear negotiator, in April about discussions with the so-called P5-plus-1, which includes the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.

    The group's dialogue with Iran has been on hold since last September.

    North Korea denial

    Speaking after North Korea tested an atomic weapon on Monday, Ahmadinejad denied any co-operation with Pyongyang on nuclear development and criticised nations which were constructing nuclear weapons.

    "In principle we oppose the production, expansion and the use of weapons of mass destruction," he said.

    "...all of the countries who have nuclear weapons must enroll in a collective commitment and be disarmed within a clear plan and timetable"

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
    Iranian president

    "The worst thing that a government could do would be to spend a nation's resources, which should be spent for people's welfare, to produce and store nuclear weapons.

    "We oppose this and all of the countries who have nuclear weapons must enroll in a collective commitment and be disarmed within a clear plan and timetable."

    Ahmadinejad made the remarks as he campaigned for the June 12 presidential election, during which he faces a challenge from liberal candidates advocating at least some detente with the US.

    Iran has repeatedly rejected calls for it to halt uranium enrichment, a process used to develop fuel for a nuclear reactor, but which call also be used to produce an atomic warhead.

    An Israeli foreign ministry document leaked to the media on Monday said that Venezuela and Bolivia were suspected of selling uranium to Iran.

    It also claimed that Caracas was helping Tehran skirt UN imposed sanctions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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