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    Iran rejects pressure on nuclear issue in a letter to EU's Solana

    HotNewsTurkey with wires
    07.10.2008 - 10:07 | Son Güncelleme:

    Iran delivered a letter to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Monday which stressed that foreign pressure on Tehran would not resolve the dispute over its nuclear program.

    Iran’s nuclear negotiator Said Jalili sent a protest to Solana on Monday over the West’s attitude to his country’s atomic program, a senior Iranian official said.

    "In the letter, Mr Jalili complains of the attitude of the West and says their approach has harmed the constructive process of negotiations between the two parties," the official told AFP, declining to be named.

    "In the course of negotiations, pressure instead of reason will not be a resolution," the official news agency IRNA cited the two-page letter as saying.

    The office of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said the letter was delivered to Solana on Monday by the Islamic republics ambassador to Brussels, Ali Asghar Khaji.

    Copies of the letter were sent to the foreign ministers of the five U.N. Security Council permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and United States -- plus Germany.

    Solana's spokeswoman Cristina Gallach said she did not know the contents. "But the letter is now in the hands of Mr. Solana," she was quoted by Reuters as saying.

    In Washington, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said he could not comment on the contents until after the United States had consulted with the other five powers.

    NUCLEAR ARMS
    The West fears the Islamic Republic, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, is seeking to build nuclear arms.

    Iran says it only wants to generate electricity and has repeatedly ruled out halting uranium enrichment, which can have both civilian and military purposes. Its refusal to do so has drawn three rounds of U.N. sanctions since 2006.

    "The two-page letter reflects Iran's view over the handling of the nuclear case by the six powers," Ahmad Khademolmelleh, a spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said.

    He told Reuters it would also be delivered to the Swiss embassy in Tehran. Switzerland represents U.S. interests in the country since Washington severed ties with Iran shortly after its 1979 Islamic revolution.

    Iran's Press TV quoted Jalili as saying Iran's approach was constructive. "Iran says it has fully cooperated with the IAEA and G5+1," it said in a headline, referring to the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog and the six powers.

    Jalili and Solana last discussed Tehran's nuclear program by telephone in August.

    The U.N. Security Council in September passed a resolution that again ordered Tehran to halt enrichment but imposed none of the new sanctions Washington and its allies want.

    Iran has dismissed the latest resolution as "unconstructive" and again made clear on Monday it would not bow to the pressure.

    "There is no reason for us to change our strategy, which is not to suspend enrichment," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a news conference.

    The six powers offered in June to hold off from seeking further sanctions if Iran freezes expansion of its nuclear work. Iran responded with a non-committal letter and Western countries said they would look at stepping up sanctions on Tehran.

    But Russia and China, which gave reluctant backing to three previous sanctions resolutions that included asset freezes and travel bans on specific Iranian individuals and companies, are blocking further U.N. measures for the time being.

     

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