Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday world powers must accept the Islamic republic as a nuclear power. Larijani's comments came after the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany offered to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear programme.
"Now the 5+1 has no reason to deny or refuse Iran's nuclear technology and the expected negotiations will be based according to the rights mentioned in the Non-Proliferation Treaty," Larijani said in a speech to parliament reported by the ISNA news agency.
Larijani, Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator, said that the "more intense supervision as advocated by some of the members of 5+1 is baseless and has no legal foundation." Larijani's remarks were echoed by Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Organisation.
"The world has to accept Iran as a nation with nuclear power for peaceful purposes," Saeedi was quoted as saying on the website of state-run television. "Some nations are accepting this fact and the talk of suspending (the enrichment programme) is a thing of the past and no longer relevant."