Iran ready for talks without preliminary terms - president

Iran Materials 5 June 2006 12:16

(RIA Novosti) - Iran is ready to conduct talks on its nuclear program without any preliminary conditions and on an equal basis, the Iranian president said Saturday.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the phone that the Islamic Republic was complying with the norms of UN's nuclear watchdog, IAEA, and fulfilling its nuclear non-proliferation obligations, reports Trend.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said earlier Tehran was ready to consider proposals worked out in Vienna by the six nations leading efforts to solve the standoff over Iran's nuclear programs.

"Iran will thoroughly consider these proposals and present its position on them," he said.

The minister also said EU High Commissioner for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana would arrive in Iran in the next two days to hand over these proposals to the Iranian side.

Mottaki said he hoped the new proposals would boost the resolution of the long-running crisis.

The Iran Six - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany - discussed the problem in Vienna Thursday.

Following the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters: "I can unambiguously say that all agreements of yesterday's meeting ... rule out the use of military action."

Lavrov said the proposals covered three aspects: Iran's nuclear program, trade and economic cooperation with Tehran, and security guarantees.

He said Tehran should respond to the Iran Six's proposals in several weeks.

Earlier this year, Russia proposed setting up a joint venture to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil in a bid to dispel the international community's suspicions that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

"The joint venture proposal remains on the table," Lavrov said Friday. "Yesterday, all parties confirmed this."

He said the U.S. had informed Russia in advance that it wanted direct talks with Iran and that the Iran Six were all willing to join in.

The minister said the Vienna gathering had agreed the UN Security Council would take no actions against Iran if the Islamic Republic halted its uranium enrichment activities in compliance with decisions by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog.

Iran announced earlier this year it had succeeded in enriching uranium to the degree necessary for use in nuclear reactors. It has repeatedly said it has no plans to enrich uranium to weapons grade, and that it is enriching uranium for civilian use only.