Iran tries some damage control

first_img Talks collapsed in August after Tehran rejected an incentives package in return for permanently ending uranium enrichment, which it voluntarily suspended in 2004 under a deal with the Europeans. Larijani sent letters to the embassies of the three countries and called “for constructive and logical negotiations in the framework of respective conventions and regulations of International Atomic Energy Agency,” IRNA said. He also reiterated Iran’s right to continue its nuclear activities in line with international treaties, such as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Iran got a boost from traditional ally India, which said Sunday it might vote against an IAEA resolution that is more critical of Tehran. India shocked Iran by joining the United States, Britain and other nations in backing the IAEA resolution in September. But India Foreign Minister K. Natwar Singh said Sunday that if a more critical resolution is put forward, “my recommendation to the government will be to revise our vote.” Also Sunday, Ahmadinejad told visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi that Tehran supports Iraq’s territorial integrity and believes a powerful government in Baghdad is in Iran’s interests. He also called for expediting the construction of an oil pipeline and railway between the once-bitter enemies. “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that establishing peace and security in Iraq requires having a powerful government with popular support more than anything else,” Ahmadinejad was quoted on television as telling Chalabi. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TEHRAN, Iran – Facing continued criticism for its president’s call for Israel’s destruction, Iran launched a charm offensive Sunday by proposing resumed nuclear talks with Europe, saying it allowed U.N. inspectors to visit a sensitive military facility and pledging to boost relations with former enemy Iraq. Still, Tehran’s diplomatic spat with Italy over the anti-Israel remarks worsened, with Rome warning Iran it risked isolating itself from the international community by denying the “right to exist to another state and other people.” Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent call for Israel to be “wiped off the map” has increased international pressure against Iran. It also overshadows a crucial Nov. 24 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, which threatens to refer Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions over its controversial nuclear program. On Sunday, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, tried some damage control, calling for resumed negotiations on the program with Britain, Germany and France, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. last_img

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