Iran Rejects EU Preconditions for Continued Cooperation

Teheran - Iran will not accept any preconditions by the European Union for continued cooperation, the news agency IRNA reported Thursday.

Iran and the EU have started their dialogue based on mutual respect, but Iran neither accepted any precondition for these talks then nor for their continuation now, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi said.

The spokesman was referring to remarks by the Italian delegation at the International Atomic Energy Agency, which made clear that EU cooperation with Iran depended on Teheran's acceptance of the additional IAEA protocol which authorizes unannounced and unlimited nuclear inspections.

Such remarks will not help strengthen constructive Iran-IAEA cooperation and definitely will not deter Iran from its legitimate rights to have access to peaceful nuclear technology, the spokesman said.

Assefi said Wednesday that Iran would also not give in to political pressure by the United States over it nuclear programs. Under the terms of last week's IAEA ultimatum, Teheran has until October 31 to accept all IAEA regulations on nuclear inspections.

It has been warned that the issue will go to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions if it does not comply by November 20.