Iran says pressures may damage nuclear talks

DUBAI Sun May 13, 2012 4:47pm EDT

A general view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010. REUTERS/IRNA/Mohammad Babaie

A general view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/IRNA/Mohammad Babaie

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran warned Western powers on Sunday that applying pressure on Tehran could jeopardize talks on its nuclear program, state television reported.

"The era of a pressure strategy is ended. Any strategic miscalculations would endanger success at the Baghdad negotiations," said Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, quoted by state television.

Jalili was speaking with French former prime minister Michel Rocard who visited Iran ahead of the talks on May 23 in Baghdad with the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

Jalili called on Western officials to avoid "unconstructive remarks" ahead of the talks, the television said, without elaborating.

Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said on Friday she hoped the talks would form the basis for Iran to eventually abandon its "nuclear weapons program".

The West suspects Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its program is purely for peaceful purposes such as power generation.

Ashton's use of the term "nuclear weapons program" went beyond the language commonly used by Western officials, who usually describe Iran's efforts as an attempt to move towards a nuclear weapons capability.

In January, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Iran was keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons, in part by developing various nuclear capabilities. But he said he did not know whether Iran would eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.

Negotiations over Iran's alleged military program and over access to suspect sites resumed in Turkey in April after a 15-month hiatus.

Iran has said it wants sanctions introduced by the United States and the European Union aimed at dissuading it from pushing ahead with its nuclear ambitions to be scaled back.

Western diplomats say Iran must first take concrete steps to ease their concerns.

The sanctions have targeted Iran's energy and banking sectors since the beginning of the year. The EU is preparing for a total embargo on the purchase of Iranian crude oil in July.

(Writing Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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Comments (12)
walfourth wrote:
There are no real talks going on, so let the pressure be increased further.

“The era of a pressure strategy is ended. Any strategic miscalculations would endanger success at the Baghdad negotiations,’ said Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, quoted by state television.”

Golly, it is like a broken record. Also, it make no difference what language is used, Iran will do what it pleases. Why massage its ego?

May 13, 2012 5:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:
“Blah, blah, blah”…committees meet to re-assess…”blah, blah, blah”. This delaying tactic has worked for decades. When are the negotiators from the West going to wake up to the reality that they’re being played just like with North Korea? Everybody else can see it, so why can’t they?

May 13, 2012 5:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
I think US/EU have totally misjudged Iran’s resolve to move on, be it nuclear or otherwise. What goes on behind the scenes is so different from what we hear on reuters, bbc et al. Have we forgotten the Oliver North episode. After the financial meltdown the world has woken up to a new reality, no more pressures from Israel’s blackmail to attack and plunge the world into a financial chaos. If you are not privileged enough to travel to Europe, just call your friends there and see what the common citizens have to say about the jewish issue. There is a freightening simmering hatred for this community, in USA the voices are now getting openely vocal.
I think it’s time to stop this stupid rehtoric and get back to the negotiating table and for heaven’s sake lose this stupid pride.

May 13, 2012 7:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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