Iran sees no obstacle in restoring relations with U.S.-president

Iran Materials 23 April 2007 16:56 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - There are no obstacles to rebuilding relations between Tehran and Washington, which were broken off over 20 years ago, Iran's president said Monday.

"We have no problems with establishing relations with the Americans, but they do have problems. Their behavior is wrong. The Americans do not recognize the right of other nations and are striving to build their relations with others from a position of force," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

He said the United States broke off relations with the Islamic Republic unilaterally.

He said Iran is ready to address the nuclear issue through negotiations, but will not renounce its right to pursue peaceful nuclear programs.

"We stand firm on our rights, and if the UN Security Council makes illegal decisions, no nation will agree with them," he said, adding that some world powers, led by the U.S., are using international organizations as an instrument of political pressure.

He said the EU should follow a policy independent from the U.S.

"If the EU is to play a relevant role in international affairs, it should be independent. If the EU wants to interpret U.S. statements to us, we do not need this," he said.

Ahmadinejad said Iran will adhere to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and did not intend to withdraw from it.

He accused world powers of supporting international terrorism, without naming any specific countries, however.

He said the Islamic Republic itself has fallen victim to terrorism, which "has dealt crippling blows to the Iranian people."

"We are opposed to terrorism. Any person committing murder is an outcast," he said.

The EU's foreign policy and security chief and Iran's top nuclear negotiator will meet in Turkey to discuss the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, an Iranian news agency said earlier Monday.

Javier Solana and Ali Larijani have agreed to hold talks in Turkey following a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Fars news agency said citing an informed source.

An EU spokesperson confirmed last Friday earlier reports that the talks had been scheduled for April 25.

Since Iran resumed uranium enrichment in January 2006, the country has been the focus of international concerns, as some Western countries, particularly the U.S., suspect Tehran is pursuing a covert weapons program. But Tehran has consistently claimed it needs nuclear power for civilian power generation and is fully entitled to its own nuclear program.

The UN Security Council passed a new resolution on Iran March 24 over its refusal to abandon its nuclear program, toughening economic sanctions against the country and accepting the possibility of a military solution to the crisis.

But in defiance to international efforts, Iran announced in April it had started production of nuclear fuel on an industrial scale, and voiced its determination to defend a legitimate right to possess nuclear power.

High ranking Iranian officials, including President Ahmadinejad, have repeatedly stated that Iran would not discuss shutting down its uranium enrichment program even if discussions with five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are resumed.