Iran Rejects US’s Enrichment-Freeze-for-Talks Plan

A001821218.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran has turned down demands by the United States to halt its uranium enrichment program as a precondition for direct negotiations with Washington, Iranian foreign minister said here today.

“Following the publication of a US intelligence report on Iran, US politicians started talking about some preconditions for negotiations with this country. But we do not accept any conditions,” Manouchehr Mottaki said.

He said US sanctions against Iran, the ongoing international pressure, and the double standards practiced by the US administration in the fight against terrorism are out of tune with the White House’s statements about its readiness to open dialogue with the Islamic Republic.

“The Americans have to prove first that they are not pursuing their selfish interests, but are working on a new approach [with respect to Iran],” the minister said.

The US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), published on December 3, stated that Tehran is pursuing a peaceful nuclear program.

The report contradicted a previous US intelligence assessment in 2005 which alleged that the Islamic Republic was actively pursuing a nuclear bomb.

US President George W. Bush remained hawkish, despite the report, saying that, “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the know how to make a nuclear weapon.”

When asked if military action remained an option, the president answered, “The best diplomacy – effective diplomacy – is one in which all options are on the table.”

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