Reports: Iran will not back down on nuclear program, says top negotiator

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MOSCOW: Iran s top nuclear negotiator said Friday that his country wanted talks on its disputed nuclear program, but would not relinquish its right to pursue atomic energy, Russian news agencies reported.

We want to use our rights under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and in this context, there will be no retreat, but we are ready for negotiations, Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by the RIA-Novosti, Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies after talks with Russian officials.

He said Iran was prepared to renew negotiations with European Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana or to hold talks in any other format, according to the reports.

Using a familiar mix of threats and offers, Larijani warned the U.N. Security Council against passing a European-proposed draft resolution that would slap sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

Those who support adopting the resolution want to aggravate the problems of the region, RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying. He said imposing the measures on Iran will not promote resolution of the question and will not aid a political settlement.

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