Iran refuses to 'compromise on right to enrich uranium'
Tehran, June 14 (ANI): Iran has hardened its position on nuclear activities, with a senior official saying that Tehran would not compromise on its right to enrich uranium.
The remarks by Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, have cast doubts on whether the country could reach a deal during talks with international powers in Moscow this month.
The diplomat, who represents the views of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, dismissed a suspension of uranium enrichment, a central demand of the international powers, The Wall Street Journal reports.
He said Iran had recently threatened to pull out of the talks if they only focus on the nuclear issue and don't address Iran's other concerns such as human rights in Bahrain and piracy in the Persian Gulf.
The paper quoted Jalili, as saying that said Tehran only changed its mind after Catherine Ashton, the European Union's Foreign Secretary, called him Monday to reassure him Iran's concerns were on the table.
He also suggested the West was conducting a colonial war against Iran to keep it from scientific advancement.
"The Islamic Republic's nuclear program and nuclear energy is based on our legitimate rights and it's a symbol of our resistance and progress," Jalili said.
He further said that the West's opposition to Iran's nuclear program stemmed from 'fear that Tehran could serve as a role model for progress and defiance in other countries.'
Iran is scheduled to resume talks with the five permanent United Nations Security Council members and Germany in Moscow on Monday and Tuesday.
The meetings will mark the third round of negotiations this year after two others in Istanbul in April and Baghdad in May. (ANI)
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