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News number: 8802050696

13:33 | 2009-04-25


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Iran Defends Pursuit of Civilian N. Work

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki responded to his US counterpart's remarks on possible fresh sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear work.

Manouchehr Mottaki, who was speaking in Brussels after attending an international donors' conference on Somalia, said Iran's nuclear program was totally peaceful but added at the same time that the long-disputed issue could be resolved through 'logical' dialogue.

"My advice to Ms. Clinton is to study the peaceful background of Iran's nuclear activities. If you follow up on the two declarations published by the 5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran, you will see that we have always underlined and supported dialogue and logical negotiations," Mottaki said, press tv reported.

"We need to be patient to see how things will evolve," he added.

His comments came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was preparing for tough sanctions against Iran if diplomacy could not work out.

Clinton told lawmakers on Wednesday that the US was 'willing' to reach out to Iran but was also laying the groundwork for the kind of 'very tough, crippling sanctions' that might be necessary if diplomatic means fail to prove successful.

In a Wednesday statement, Tehran said it was ready for 'constructive dialogue' but said that it would not halt its nuclear work during the talks.

"The Islamic Republic will continue its nuclear activities in an active interaction with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and its regulations like other members," Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said in the statement.

Iran's statement was in response to one issued by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, which said that the P5+1 were seeking to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.

Spearheaded by Israel and the US, the West accuses Tehran of developing a covert nuclear military program. Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), maintains its nuclear program is solely aimed at peaceful purposes.

Under US pressure, the UN Security Council has imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran. The US has also enforced unilateral sanctions against Iran since the two severed ties 30 years ago.