Iran wants nuclear rights, says top negotiator
AFP, Saturday 23 Feb 2013
Ahead of talks with major powers over its disputed nuclear drive, Iran has signaled that it will continue to pursue its nuclear programme

"We will not accept anything beyond our obligations and will not accept anything less than our rights," said Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, as quoted by the Iranian state ISNA news agency Saturday.

"Iran has fulfilled its NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) obligations as an active and committed member, [and] therefore should gain all of its rights," Jalili said in an address to Iranian nuclear industry officials.

Jalili's remarks come ahead of a meeting between Iran and six world powers (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany) in Kazakhstan Tuesday. The talks will be the first between the parties since three rounds of meetings in Moscow ended in stalemate in June 2012.

The so-called P5+1 called on Iran to scale back on uranium enrichment, the process used to manufacture power plant fuel and in higher purities the basis for nuclear weapons.

But the group stopped short of offering Tehran substantial relief from UN Security Council and unilateral Western sanctions that last year began to spur major economic problems for the Gulf country.

Iran denies seeking atomic weapons but many in the international community suspect otherwise.