Iran: Nuclear Talks Are an 'Opportunity' for West

Foreign Ministry spokesman says Iran would be willing to ease concerns over its nuclear program if West recognizes its right to enrich uranium.

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Iran says it is willing to ease Western concerns about Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for pledges from the Unites States and others about its ability to enrich uranium.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says an "opportunity" awaits at the nuclear talks next week between Iran and world powers in Kazakhstan.

Mehmanparast told reporters on Tuesday that Iran seeks a "show of goodwill" by the U.S. and its allies to recognize Iran's nuclear "rights," which include enriching uranium.

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany are to restart nuclear negotiations with Iran in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 26.

"There would be a swift solution if the 5+1 group came up at the next nuclear meeting with goodwill as well as suitable and balanced initiatives, such as acknowledgment of Iran's nuclear rights," Mehmanparast said.

"Just as we are committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we also want to maintain our rights according to the same treaty. Therefore any threats or pressures in the talks would be irrelevant and definitely not work," he added.

Mehmanparast says Iran would respond with proposals to address Western concerns.

Earlier this month, Vice President Joe Biden said Washington was prepared to talk directly to Iran. Tehran rejected the offer.

The West suspects Iran's enrichment program could eventually produce material for a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili meet in Moscow, on June 18, 2012.Credit: AFP

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