Iran calls for no more “condescending” atom talks

VIENNA: Iran has told big powers it will enter no more “condescending” talks meant to scrap its nuclear programme but wants to negotiate a broader peace and security deal, according to an Iranian letter leaked on Tuesday.

The July 4 letter, published on a French weekly’s website and verified by diplomatic sources, was Iran’s response to an improved incentives package from the six powers aimed at halting a uranium enrichment programme they fear could yield atom bombs.

The classified reply ignored the demand by the sextet — the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — that Iran suspend enrichment to obtain the benefits but made clear this was not up for negotiation.

“We have no intention of changing this path,” said the three-page, English-language version of letter by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, alluding to its campaign for a nuclear fuel industry.

Iran says it wants to refine uranium only for electricity but the programme has triggered U.N. sanctions since Tehran covered it up in the past and continues to curb U.N. inspections meant to verify the work is wholly civilian in nature.


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