Delegates from the US, Britain, France and Germany met on the sidelines of last week’s UN World Summit to discuss Iran’s latest measures to allay international concerns.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled a series of proposals last week, including an offer to open Iran’s nuclear program to foreign firms.

Western countries want Iran to return to talks after it defied a UN agreement and resumed its nuclear fuel cycle.

Iran has consistently denied international accusations that it is enriching uranium at its Isfahan reactor for the purpose of making weapons.

In an interview with Newsweek Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said having nuclear arms was against Islam.

“Our religion prohibits us from having nuclear arms. Our religious leader has prohibited it from the point of view of religious law,” he said.

“It’s a closed road. We don’t even need it; we can guarantee our security in other ways.”

President Ahmadinejad caused ripples at the UN World Summit after he labelled the policies of the US and its allies as “nuclear apartheid”, and fiercely defended his country’s right to nuclear energy.

In his debut speech he said Iran would renege on its international obligations if the US tried to impose its will.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the speech was “disappointing and unhelpful” while French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy responded with a blunt warning.

“What I heard today makes me say the option of referral … to the UN
Security Council remains on the agenda,” he said.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said threats of sanctions would not work.

“Enrichment is not on the agenda for the time being but if the IAEA meeting on Monday leads to radical results, we will make our decision to correspond to that,” he said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is deaf to the language of threats.”

On Wednesday US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signalled it was seeking more support for possible UN sanctions against Iran, but may not have enough votes at Monday’s IAEA meeting.

  • Posted on 10. January 2019
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