Iran’s ambassador to France said that he is optimistic about the likelihood of renewed negotiations between Tehran and six world powers over Iran’s nuclear program; but he nonetheless insisted that his country will not relinquish its uranium enrichment activities.
Speaking to Reuters in Paris, Ali Ahani said: We have to try through dialogue to resolve [these problems] and reach a compromise and in my opinion it's better not to prejudge these negotiations in advance.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who is representing the five permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council (U.S, U.K., France, China, and Russia) plus Germany, recently accepted an offer from Iran’s top nuclear negotiator to resume talks.
A time and venue for such talks have yet to be determined.
Ahani also said that foreign powers need not fear Iran’s atomic ambitions.
In this sense recognizing Iran as responsible and a signatory to the non-nuclear proliferation treaty that insists on using these technologies purely for peaceful and civilian means and to continue its enrichment for civilian purposes can help get out of the current situation, he said.
However, Ahani said that there will be no discussions on reducing or eliminating Iran’s uranium enrichment schedule.
Ahani, a former deputy foreign minister, added that Iran is prepared to allow foreign inspectors onto an Iranian military site which the UN believes is being used as a research and development facility for the construction of nuclear weapons -- as demanded by the UN Security Council.
The decision has already been taken to allow access to this site and others, he said.
The envoy also shrugged off threats from Israel that it will launch military strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites.
We don't believe them [Israel] at all even if we have prepared all scenarios to defend ourselves, he said.
We don't think that the Zionist regime [Israel] will take this direction because there will be worse consequences not just for that regime, region, but the world. This sort of military action could have unpredictable and catastrophic consequences.”
Ahani has repeatedly taken a hard stance against Israel and the west.
Last month, according to the Tehran Times, he warned that any acts of aggression by the west and Israel against Iran was “madness” and would lead to the destruction of Israel.