'Iran will not give up nuclear advances'
Tehran: Iran will make absolutely no
concessions on its nuclear programme, a key lawmaker declared
on Sunday amid high geopolitical tensions and ahead of mooted
talks with world powers.
"The parliament will never allow the government to go
back even one step in its nuclear policy," Aladin Borujerdi,
the head of Iran's parliamentary foreign policy commission,
told the official IRNA news agency.
Iran's recent announcements that is stepping up uranium
enrichment and made its own 20-percent enriched nuclear fuel
showed the country "totally masters nuclear science," he said.
"If the P5+1 countries don't accept the reality of Iran's
nuclear abilities, they will suffer from that," Borujerdi was
quoted as saying.
His comments precede expected talks agreed to by Iran and
the P5+1 group of powers -- the five permanent UN Security
Council members plus Germany.
Iran has formally requested a date and venue for the
negotiations, the previous round of which collapsed in
Istanbul in January last year.
The Islamic republic has been buffeted in recent months
by ramped-up Western economic sanctions.
It has also been threatened with possible military action
against its nuclear facilities by Israel and the United
Throughout, Tehran has maintained that its nuclear
programme is purely peaceful, denying Western suspicions --
largely echoed in a November report by the International
Atomic Energy Agency -- that it was conducting military
research towards designing nuclear weapons.
Borujerdi told IRNA that the United States and its allies
have seen in recent months that Iran's scientists have managed
to make nuclear fuel enriched to 20 percent, among other
"Lawmakers expect the (Iranian) nuclear negotiating team
to change the situation, to obtain a cancellation of (UN)
resolutions (on Iran) and that the Iranian nuclear issue is
taken from the Security Council and put back before the
governors' board of the International Atomic Energy Agency,"
The remarks suggested Iran was taking a defiant
negotiating position for the talks with the P5+1 -- one as
hardball as the stance adopted by the United States and some
of its allies, notably France and Britain.
US President Barack Obama has warned that Iran's
leaders have to understand that "the window for solving this
issue diplomatically is shrinking." (AFP)