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Iran: abandoning nuclear enrichment 'unacceptable'
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Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said in London on Friday that it was "unacceptable" for Iran to give up its right for nuclear enrichment.


"Iran is a member of the NPT (Nonproliferation Treaty), which means it has the right to enrich uranium," Jalili told reporter after five hours of talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in London.


"It is unacceptable for Iran to abandon its right to enrichment when it is carrying out its obligations," he said.


Jalili said the discussions with Solana were "positive" and there would be further talks next month.


"We had positive negotiations with Mr Solana and negotiations will continue next month," Jalili said.


Iran's chief negotiator said that Iran would continue its atomic program even if the United Nations Security Council were to impose new sanctions on Iran.


"Iran has removed concerns and cooperated with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). But if some countries want to use the U.N. Security Council and its resolutions to stop Iran's atomic work, surely they will not be successful," Jalili said.


"They have adopted three resolutions and haven't achieved anything, and Iran has in the meantime enjoyed significant technological success," Saeed Jalili told reporters after talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.


"They have not succeeded in preventing Iran from mastering uranium enrichment. If they want to continue on the same path, they will not succeed," he added.


However, Solana said that he was "disappointed" after talks with Jalili.


"I have to admit that after five hours of meetings I expected more. I am disappointed," said Solana.


The U.N. Security Council has already issued two sanction resolutions against Iran's nuclear program since last December, but both of them failed to persuade the Islamic Republic to give up uranium enrichment work.


On Thursday, France confirmed that a meeting will be held here over the weekend among high ranking diplomats of six major countries involved in the discussions over the Iranian nuclear program.


The meeting will be attended by senior foreign affairs officials from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, and a representative from the European Union (EU).


The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday the holding of this meeting in Paris, saying it will be represented by U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns.


The group of six is demanding Iran suspend sensitive nuclear activities, officially described as civilian in character but which could lead to a military nuclear program.


The Europeans and the Americans are however adopting a more hard-line position against Iran than China and Russia, both in regard to the sanctions and the assessment of the Iranian threat.


(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2007)

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