Iranian FM: Postponing of talks by West is doubtful

Iranian FM: Postponing of talks by West is doubtful

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast regarded as doubtful the postponing of the talks on the nuclear exchange under the Tehran declaration by the Vienna Group countries (France, U.S. and Russia).

These countries disagree on the issue of replying to the Tehran declaration, Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

The Vienna Group countries are not ready to join the peaceful nuclear cooperation, he added. "We can talk over the nuclear exchange, when these countries will be ready for the talks," he said.

Mehmanparast said Iran will not mull the nuclear exchange issue with the "5+1" group countries.

The "5+1" group or so-called "Six" (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) has been seeking the suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment, which can pose a threat to nuclear nonproliferation regime since 2003.

A tripartite declaration on uranium exchange was reached on May 17 between Iran, Turkey and Brazil. The foreign ministers of these three countries signed a draft agreement for the exchange of Tehran's low-enriched uranium (up to 3.5 percent) for highly enriched uranium (up to 20 percent) for Tehran's research reactor. According to the Tehran declaration, the exchange would be made on Turkish territory.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton in October invited Iran to hold talks in Vienna in mid-November. In response, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged the EU to specify the timing of the negotiations. Then the talks were scheduled for either Nov. 23 or Dec. 5. But, it is also not certain.

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