x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Iran urges west to recognise its right to nuclear fuel

Iran has urged world powers to recognise the country's right to a nuclear fuel cycle during the second day of Geneva talks on the issue.

TEHRAN // Iran on Tuesday urged world powers to show courage and recognize the country's "right" to a nuclear fuel cycle, which includes enrichment, on the second day of Geneva talks between the two sides.

"What is important is that the negotiating countries acknowledge our right in practice," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly press briefing.

"Acknowledging our nation's right to have the fuel cycle can be a start for great cooperation among different countries in peaceful nuclear activities," said the spokesman.

"We believe this decision calls for courage on their part at this point."

He criticized negative media speculation about the nuclear talks, which opened in Geneva on Monday between Iran and representatives of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

"Some Western media, quoting officials, express pessimism at the talks. The negotiating countries should show in practice that these conceptions in the media are wrong," Mehmanparast said.

Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly vowed that the Islamic republic's uranium enrichment activities are non-negotiable.

Enrichment is the key sticking point in the standoff as the process can be used to produce nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atomic bomb in highly purified forms.

Tehran rejects Western suspicions that its nuclear program masks a weapons drive and the country is under four sets of UN sanctions for its refusal to halt enrichment.