Iran says no atomic retreat, ahead of talks
Tehran: Iran "will not retreat an iota" from
its nuclear rights, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday,
ahead of weekend talks in Istanbul with world powers over
Tehran's atomic activities.
"The Iranian nation is standing firm on its fundamental
rights and under the harshest pressure will not retreat an
iota from its undeniable right," Ahmadinejad said in a speech
in the southern town of Minab, according to the official IRNA
"On behalf of the Iranian nation, I advise the enemies and
the arrogance (the United States) to change their behaviour
towards our nation, and they should know that the Iranians are
standing firm in defending their rights," he said.
His language indicated a defiant attitude by Iran as its
negotiators go into the Istanbul talks on Saturday across from
representatives of the so-called P5+1 group comprising the
five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.
It will be the first negotiations since talks broke off in
a failed round in January 2011 that was also held in Istanbul.
Tehran's stated aim in the upcoming talks is to have the
world recognise its rights to peaceful nuclear energy --
including the contentious issue of enriching uranium, which,
when purified to high levels, can be used to make an atomic
Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons.
But most of the West is unconvinced, and is piling on
economic sanctions to get Tehran to agree to more invasive
inspections and a cap on uranium enrichment to prevent any
nuclear military activities.
If fully implemented, the sanctions could cut Iran's oil
production by more than a third by the middle of 2012 should
other customers not step forward, the International Energy
Agency said in its monthly report released today.