Iran Ready to Attend Talks with US

A02537698.jpgIranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Tehran is prepared to attend the next round of talks with the US if it is requested by the Iraqi government. “We have not yet observed any change in the United States’ policies, but in case the Iraqi government demands, we are ready to attend talks with the US in a bid to help the nation and government of that country (Iraq),” Hosseini told reporters during his weekly press conference here on Sunday.

Meantime, he underlined the need for a planned withdrawal of the US troops from Iraq.

Elsewhere the spokesman responded to a question about Iran’s reaction to any possible sanction resolution by the UN Security Council, and stressed, “In case a new resolution is issued, we will reconsider the level of our cooperation with the (International Atomic Energy) Agency.”

He further dismissed the United States’ threats to Iran, and described the measure as “nothing new”.

Saying that the required grounds do not exist for the US to put its threats into effect, Hosseini reminded his country’s military capabilities, and reiterated, “The Islamic Republic owns a full defensive power.”

He also gave a negative response to the question if Iran is ready to negotiate with the west about suspension of its uranium enrichment activities.

Asked about the date for the start of operation by Iran’s first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr, the spokesman noted the contacts made with Russian officials by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki during his recent visit to Moscow, and said the two sides are still working on the technical issues.

“The results of the technical efforts made by the two countries will be announced in one month,” he said, adding that head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam Reza Aghazadeh is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Kiriyenko.

Hosseini didn’t mention any specific date for the meeting.

Meantime, Iranian foreign minister said late Saturday that enriched uranium fuel is ready to be shipped from Russia to Iran’s nuclear power plant.

The announcement comes after talks in Moscow between Mottaki and Russian nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko to address delays in completing the $1 billion joint Iranian-Russian Bushehr power plant.

“Nuclear fuel for this power plant, inspected and sealed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, is ready,” he said. “We do see the trend of cooperation between Iran and Russia moving ahead for the Bushehr power plant.”

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