Tehran Times.com / Reuters – 2006-06-02 08:58:11
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (May 31, 2006) — The world’s non-aligned states threw their weight behind Iran in its nuclear stand-off with the West, according to a draft statement prepared on Tuesday for a meeting in Malaysia.
The 114-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was expected on Tuesday to adopt the draft text, which makes no criticism of Iran’s nuclear activities and says Tehran is cooperating with nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It stressed the need for cooperation to continue but warned against any attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
“The ministers reaffirmed the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities poses a great danger to human beings and the environment,” said a copy of the draft obtained by Reuters.
“The ministers reaffirmed the basic and inalienable right of all states to develop research, production and the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination…,” it added, calling on Iran’s fuel-cycle policies to be respected.
Hosts Malaysia set the tone on Monday, when its prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, made a strong call for NAM to back Iran and accused the West of double-standards, citing inaction over Israel’s nuclear advances.
Iran says it wants to resume EU talks
Iran’s foreign minister said Tuesday that Tehran is ready to restart negotiations with the European Union on its nuclear program, but he ruled out direct talks with the United States, the Associated Press reported.
“I announce that Iran is ready to respond positively to the call” made by the Nonaligned Movement “for resuming the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear issue without any preconditions,” Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki told reporters.
“Accordingly, I would announce our readiness to restart immediately the negotiations with the EU Three to resolve the issues,” he said, referring to Britain, France and Germany.
“In Tehran, ambassadors of those countries have been informed about our position,” he added.
Mottaki said there was no question of direct talks with the United States.
“Because of the bad temperament of the Americans, for the time being we have suspended direct talks (with the U.S). After changing of the behavior we may consider again,” said Mottaki who was in Malaysia to attend a meeting of the NAM foreign ministers. Asked on Tuesday if Iran was afraid U.S. forces could attack its nuclear facilities, Mottaki told reporters, “They are not in the position to create a new crisis in the region.”
“They are in a lot of difficulty in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added.
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