Iran refuses to halt nuclear work, despite EU call

Iran will not stop uranium enrichment, chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said on Wednesday, despite a call by the European Union and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to halt sensitive nuclear work.

“We heard about this EU demand and we said our view,” Larijani told a news conference, referring to Iran’s repeated stance it would not stop enrichment. He said such an EU approach was “from the past” and added: “We need new initiatives.”

Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is solely aimed at generating electricity.

The European Union said earlier that the failure to include a provision for Iran to halt uranium enrichment in a transparency deal Tehran agreed in August with UN watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency was unacceptable.

Ban also said this week that Iran had to meet Security Council demands to suspend its enrichment work, not only cooperate with UN inspectors.

Larijani still voiced optimism about the chances of reaching a solution in the nuclear row.
“I think the ground is paved for reaching a solution. It depends on the will of both parties [Iran and the West]. Iran has shown that it has positive intentions.”—Reuters

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