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Iran''s top nuclear negotiator says committed to international regulations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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NEW DELHI (AFP) – Iran”s new top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said Tehran is committed to international regulations on nuclear proliferation, ahead of a looming international clash over its atomic programme.

&#34We are fully committed and bound by international regulations relating to the nuclear field,&#34 Larijani told reporters in New Delhi after talks with Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh.

&#34What is important is to continue our cooperation in a serious way with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency),&#34 he said.

Larijani”s trip comes just days before a September 3 deadline set by the IAEA for Iran to stop work on reactor fuel at a plant at Isfahan.

Larijani, who also met National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan soon after his arrival Tuesday, said work at the Isfahan nuclear facility &#34is being done under the supervision of IAEA inspectors.&#34

On August 8 Iran chose to end its freeze on a part of the fuel cycle — uranium conversion — at the Isfahan facility.

Iran had agreed to suspend fuel conversion. But it ended the freeze in retaliation to demands from Britain, France and Germany — also known as the EU-3 — that it scrap the programme in exchange for a package of incentives.

Iran insists it has the right to a peaceful nuclear programme as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, although the EU-3 argue that such work could switch from producing reactor fuel to nuclear weapons.

Washington accuses Tehran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, a charge vehemently denied by Iran which says its atomic program is a peaceful effort to generate electricity.

Iran said Sunday it does not consider Britain, France and Germany to be the sole negotiating partners on its nuclear programme and the process should be opened out beyond Europe.

&#34Negotiations can have different forms and if other countries have a feeling of responsibility towards this issue they will continue to help security of this region,&#34 Larijani said Wednesday.

&#34Promoting regional security requires cooperation between two important countries of Iran and India,&#34 he added.

The Iranian official”s visit also precedes a visit to Tehran Friday by foreign minister Singh for talks with new President Mahmood Ahmadinejad.

Discussions will likely include a proposed 7.4 billion dollar gas pipeline between Iran and India passing through Pakistan.

Larijani confirmed that discussions on energy and the proposed gas pipeline had figured in his talks with Singh.

&#34The focus of our talks was on strategic relations, partnership in the field of energy…we also discussed ways of working together in international organisations and arenas,&#34 he said.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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