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FACTDROP: Iran letter offers to resume nuclear talks


Iran letter offers to resume nuclear talks

This photo released by Iran claims to show President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, second left, during a tour of Tehran's research reactor centre Wednesday.

Πηγή: The Tennessean
Feb 16 2012

WASHINGTON — Iran has told world powers it is ready to resume talks as soon as possible over its disputed nuclear program, according to a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, an offer that could reflect its difficulty in coping with tough U.S. and European sanctions or be another delaying tactic as it research may be closer to developing an atomic bomb.

The West fears Iran seeks nuclear weapons, and speculation is rife that Israel may launch a pre-emptive strike to set back the program.

The letter from chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was sent Tuesday, just a day before Iran claimed two major advances in producing nuclear fuel and indicated it was on the verge of imposing an oil embargo on European countries to retaliate for sanctions. The Obama administration dismissed the announcements as unimpressive and said Tehran’s erratic behavior was indicative of the squeeze it is feeling as a result of hard-hitting economic measures against it.

“We voice our readiness for dialogue on a spectrum of various issues which can provide ground for constructive and forward looking cooperation,” Jalili wrote in the letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the point of contact for the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, who are demanding that Iran freeze all uranium enrichment.

Ashton had written Jalili in October, offering Iran a new round of talks toward an agreement that “restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Jalili welcomed Ashton’s statement of respect for Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy use and said that “by committing to this approach, our talks for cooperation based on step-by-step principles and reciprocity on Iran’s nuclear issue could be commenced,” according to a translated copy of the letter.

But Jalili’s four-paragraph, one-page letter offered no concessions. EU and U.S. officials declined to comment Wednesday, saying they were still studying the letter.

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