Monday, May 25, 2009

Iran rejects yet another nukes offer from the West

Overall, it is possible to say with fair certainty and some understatement in fact, that Iran has rejected every approach to negotiating the nuclear development issue consistently, and that alll attempts at dialog have been futile. When the Bush administration refused to negotiate with Tehran, critics claimed the Bush administration was the attitude. Now that the Obama administration is willing to negotiate on almost any terms, Tehran has rebuffed them as well, saying they will only negotiate through the IAEA about IAEA issues.
It is hard to understand how or why anyone would expect that further attempts at dialogue will be fruitful.
Last update - 18:17 25/05/2009       
Iran rejects Western proposal for freezing Nuclear program
By Agencies
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday rejected a Western proposal for Tehran to "freeze" its nuclear work in return for no new sanctions and ruled out any talks with major powers on the issue.
The comments by the conservative president, who is seeking re-election in a June 12 presidential vote, are likely to further disappoint the United States administration of President Barack Obama, which is seeking to engage Iran diplomatically.
The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain said in April they would invite Iran to a meeting to try and find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear row.
The West accuses Iran of secretly developing atomic weapons. Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, denies the charge and says it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity.
Breaking with past U.S. policy of shunning direct talks with Iran, Obama's administration said it would join such discussions with Tehran from now on.
"Our talks [with major powers] will only be in the framework of cooperation for managing global issues and nothing else. We have clearly announced this," Ahmadinejad said.
"The nuclear issue is a finished issue for us," he told a news conference.
Ahmadinejad was asked about a so-called "freeze-for-freeze" proposal first put forward last year under which Iran would freeze expansion of its nuclear program in return for the UN Security Council halting further sanctions against Tehran.
Western diplomats say the proposal remains on the table. Ahmadinejad last month said Iran had prepared its own package of proposals to end the stalemate.
"We will not allow anyone to negotiate with us outside the agency's regulations and issues," he said on Monday, referring to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency. "From now on we will continue our path in the framework of the agency."
Obama has offered a new beginning of diplomatic engagement with Iran if it "unclenches its fist", but Washington has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails.
Ahmadinejad, facing a challenge in the election from moderates advocating detente with the West, has made angry rhetoric against the United States and it allies his trademark since he came to power in 2005.
Challenge to Obama
Ahmadinejad called Monday for a face-to-face debate with his American counterpart Barack Obama at the United Nations.
The challenge was made at a news conference as he stepped up his campaign for re-election in Iran's June 12 presidential vote.
Iran says it is ready for "constructive" talks but has repeatedly rejected demands to halt sensitive uranium enrichment which can have both civilian and military purposes.
No cooperation with North Korea
Asked about North Korea's nuclear test on Monday, Ahmadinejad said: "In principle we oppose the production, expansion and the use of weapons of mass destruction."
He said Iran had no missile or nuclear cooperation with North Korea.

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