News / Middle East

Iran Warns West on Nuclear Talks Timetable

The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is seen, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran (File Photo)
The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is seen, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran (File Photo)

A senior Iranian envoy says next week's talks with world powers over Iran's disputed nuclear program could be the "last chance" for an agreement with the West.

The official news agency IRNA quoted Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday as saying Iran may not return to talks if the Istanbul meeting fails. The envoy added that once Iran creates its own fuel for a medical reactor in the coming months, further talks may not happen.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. - plus Germany, hope the talks,will address their fears Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons.  They are scheduled for Istanbul on January 21-22,

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton will visit Turkey this week in preparation for talks.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful means but the country has been facing international sanctions.

Iran says it is willing only to discuss a nuclear materials swap at the Istanbul meeting.

Iran's interim foreign minister said Wednesday it will not discuss its "nuclear dossier."

Former atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi's comments published Wednesday repeated Tehran's long-standing policy that "technical and legal aspects" of Iran's nuclear program can only be discussed with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran said on Tuesday that it will not let the European Union's rejection of an invitation to tour Iranian atomic plants affect the upcoming talks.

Iran had invited foreign diplomats to visit its atomic sites a week before the Istanbul talks.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday that Moscow is considering Iran's invitation "with interest," but has questions about the offer.

Iran says the facilities to be visited on the tour include the Natanz uranium enrichment plant and the Arak plutonium-producing heavy water complex.

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