Kharrazi: Iran can't be forced to discontinue uranium enrichment process
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Tuesday said that suspension of uranium enrichment which was agreed upon in
Tehran still continues, stressing that confidence-building should be bilateral and the two sides should undertake their commitments.
Speaking to IRNA, Kharrazi pointed to Iran's nuclear dossier and added that whenever one side refused to implement its commitment, problems would naturally arise. "We suspended parts manufacturing voluntarily and there was no need for us to continue this because they did not keep their promises," Kharrazi said.
"In Tehran meeting, we agreed on suspension but after the
meeting, the Europeans considered it as inadequate and called for extension of suspension. "Suspension should be two-sided and the optimal outcome will be achieved whenever both sides fulfill their commitments. We intend to reach a consensus through dialogue and build necessary confidence,"
He stressed that the presence of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors in Iran is a sign for Tehran's serious cooperation with the agency, saying the IAEA inspectors are currently in Iran and cooperation is underway. "Iran cannot be forced to discontinue enrichment process and the country will never ignore enrichment activities," the minister noted.
Asked about relations with the Europeans, the Iranian minister stressed that they did not fulfill their promise.
"It is time for Europe to take its move," Kharrazi conveyed. "Europe should take steps towards confidence-building through proposals that ensures our legal rights to make use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. "Necessary assurance should be provided that Iran has never thought and will never think of nuclear weapons proliferation in its nuclear programs."
Kharrazi's comments came after a press report on Tuesday said Washington was in contact with three European states on possible economic incentives for Iran in exchange of halting its uranium enrichment activities.
The New York Times quoted European and American diplomatic sources as saying the Bush administration has not endorsed any incentive plan, but it is not discouraging Britain, France and Germany from coming up with a deal that could be presented to the Iranian authorities next month. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)