Iran wants no confrontation in nuclear dispute, top negotiator says

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Monday that Iran wanted no confrontation in the dispute over its nuclear programme and was optimistic about the future course of the nuclear talks with world powers, reported dpa.

"We have a forward-looking and constructive approach and believe that we can move forward towards an agreement with understanding," Saeid Jalili said after returning to Tehran from talks in Europe.

He was referring to remarks by US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack who said Tehran should either chose cooperation or confrontation.

"These are indeed the two options but for all relevant sides: either an approach based on cooperation and constructive willingness or the opposite," Jalili said.

Jalili met Saturday in Geneva with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and representatives of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in a bid to find a way to settle the dispute.

Although there was no breakthrough and Tehran again failed to say that it would meet the major powers' demand to suspend uranium enrichment, the two sides have agreed to meet again in two weeks.

For the first time in almost three decades, the United States, represented by Undersecretary of State William Burns, took part in official talks with arch-foe Iran.

"The issue of enrichment suspension was not raised in the talks in Geneva but rather the timetable for future talks," Jalili said.

He, however, reiterated that Iran was serious about pursuing constant negotiations to settle the dispute and using the points that both sides agree upon as a road map for future negotiations.

The Western powers fear that Iran might be using its nuclear programme to work on a secret military project. Tehran denied those charges and said its nuclear programmes are for civilian purposes only in line with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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