World News

Iran won't discuss enrichment freeze in next talks

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran’s top nuclear negotiator ruled out on Saturday discussion of freezing uranium enrichment at any subsequent round of talks with major powers.

Asked by Reuters if Tehran would consider a demand to freeze enrichment as a precondition for full negotiations on its nuclear programme, Saeed Jalili said: “We will only discuss common points of the package.”

World powers, which have offered Iran a new package of incentives to resolve the nuclear dispute, have suggested that Tehran must freeze any expansion of its nuclear programme in return for the U.N. Security Council halting further sanctions measures.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who met Jalili in Geneva, said Iran has failed to provide a clear answer to world demands.

But a senior Iranian diplomat at the Geneva talks said: “Of course we will not discuss the freeze-for-freeze topic in the next meeting with Solana. First we would like to discuss the common points and if an agreement is reached then we can discuss our differences.”

“The freeze-for-freeze issue cannot be accepted because this (enrichment) is our right and we will never abandon our nuclear right,” he added.

Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Sami Aboudi