Iran's ex-president warns West not to politicise nuclear dispute
( dpa ) - Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani on Friday warned the West not to politicise the dispute over the country's nuclear programme in next week's meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in Berlin.
"There are some new developments again and the West plans to hold another meeting. I just warn them not to follow again some tricks for politicising the case and rather be after the settlement of the issue," Rafsanjani said at the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran.
Germany has invited the foreign ministers of China, France, Russia, Britain and the US to talks in Berlin on January 22 to seek a third resolution to punish Iran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the only authorised body and fair referee in this regard and the dispute could only be settled through a correct cooperation by all relevant sides," said Rafsanjani, the current head of the powerful clergy body, the Experts' Assembly.
Iran and the IAEA aim to clear up outstanding questions on the uranium enrichment programme by mid-February and, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini, the country will continue to cooperate with the IAEA within an "action plan" regardless of political moves by the West.
Rafsanjani is a fierce opponent of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but on the nuclear issue the opposition basically follows the same policy as the government.
The Islamic state insists it is enriching uranium for civilian energy needs and denies it wants to develop nuclear weapons.