Iranian Official Balks at Start of 6-Nation Talks

Delegate promises 'no chance' of suspension of uranium enrichment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2008 7:40 AM CDT
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, right, presented Iran a modified package of incentives to suspend uranium enrichment, even as Tehran reaffirmed its right to do just that.    (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – Tehran has ruled out freezing its uranium enrichment program, casting doubt over the value of talks between Iran and six world powers less than an hour after they started. The Geneva talks—with the US in attendance for the first time—had raised expectations of possible compromise on a formula under which Iran would agree to stop expanding its enrichment activities, which can produce either fuel for nuclear power stations or the material used in warheads.

In exchange, the six powers would hold off on passing new UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic. But the comments from Keyvan Imani, a member of the Iranian delegation, appeared to indicate that Tehran is not prepared to budge on enrichment. "Suspension: there is no chance for that," he told reporters.