Tehran accepts December 5 date for talks with powers

Iran has accepted a date for talks with the major powers, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday. The six powers hope the talks — for which a date of Dec. 5 was previously mooted — will focus on its disputed nuclear program, but Tehran has said its uranium enrichment activity will not be up for negotiation.
“Two dates have been proposed, they accepted one of them and we do not have any problem with that,” Ahmadinejad told a news conference, adding that the venue was still under discussion. In Moscow, the Ria News Agency quoted Iran’s ambassador to Russia as saying the talks would be held on Dec. 5 in Geneva. Iran had previously proposed Istanbul as its preferred venue. Western diplomats and analysts do not expect any breakthrough soon in the long-running dispute over Iranian nuclear work the West fears is aimed at developing bombs but which Tehran says is designed to generate electricity only. Ahmadinejad said Iran’s uranium enrichment activities were the country’s legal right and would not be negotiated away. Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants but also provide material for bombs, if refined much further. “The complete enrichment cycle and the production of fuel are basic rights of [IAEA, or UN nuclear watchdog] member states and are non-negotiable,” Ahmadinejad said.

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