Ahmadinejad, Ban Ki-moon meet for talks over Iran's nuclear program
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has arrived in the UN headquarters in New York for talks over Iran's nuclear program with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, RIA Novosti reported.
The meeting will take place during the 65th session of the UN General Assembly. Iran plans to restore relations with the Iran Six, which were suspended in 2009, Ahmadinejad said in an interview with the ABC TV channel before his meeting with Ban Ki-moon.
Sanctions are not a matter of importance for Iran at all and those who impose them are in fact sanctioning themselves, Ahmadinejad said.
The Iranian president also said the country's nuclear activities are under the UN watchdog's cameras.
Earlier, Ban Ki-moon has pledged to call on Teheran to cooperate with IAEA and fulfill the UN Security Council's requirements.
Western powers suspect Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons under the guise of its nuclear program, which Tehran says is aimed at the peaceful generation of civilian energy.
The Iran Six comprises Britain, China, France, Germany, the United States and Russia.
International pressure on Iran increased in early February when Tehran announced it had begun enriching uranium to 20 percent in lieu of an agreement on an exchange that would provide it with fuel for a research reactor.
In June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution imposing a fourth set of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
Iran currently has some 2.8 metric tons of low enriched uranium and 22 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium, according to the latest IAEA report on Iran's nuclear activities. Experts say that these 22 kilograms are already enough to produce a nuclear bomb.
The IAEA report, released last week, urges Iran to "cooperate in clarifying outstanding issues" and suspend its uranium enrichment activities. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has described the report as politically motivated.
US ambassador Susan Rice told a Security Council meeting on Wednesday that "Iran is refusing to address our proliferation concerns and appears determined to acquire a nuclear weapon." She said there was an "urgent need to redouble our efforts to implement the UN sanctions."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he did not rule out that the Iran Six may reconsider its proposals on resolving the issue of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
Senior diplomats from the Iran Six met Iranian officials in Geneva last October to discuss an agreement on a nuclear fuel swap, but the agreement eventually fell through.
The draft agreement proposed by former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohammed ElBaradei would have seen Iran send out about 80 percent of its known 1.5 metric tons of low-enriched uranium to Russia, where it would have been enriched, and to France to convert it into fuel plates for the research reactor in Tehran.