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Iran will not discuss a moratorium on uranium enrichment at talks
Iran will not discuss a moratorium on uranium enrichment at talks with six world powers on economic incentives designed to persuade Tehran to halt the controversial nuclear activity, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana conveyed on June 14 the revised incentives for the Islamic Republic to stop pursuing the technology that could be used in nuclear weapons production.

"Suspending uranium enrichment is illogical, it is an issue unacceptable for discussion," Gholamhossein Elham said. "Our response to the package of proposals by the six mediators and further talks will not be linked to the moratorium."

Elham reiterated that Tehran would respond to the incentives proposed by the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany after thoroughly studying them.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly rejected international demands to halt uranium enrichment as a condition for talks on the incentives, which include help in the construction of light water reactors, nuclear fuel supplies and a renewal of economic ties with the West. Tehran says it needs the technology to generate electricity.

Reuters reported on Saturday, citing diplomats, that the six nations had offered Tehran preliminary talks on condition it limits uranium enrichment to current levels for six weeks in exchange for a freeze on moves toward harsher sanctions.

Under the "freeze-for-freeze" proposal, Iran would not expand enrichment capacity by adding centrifuge machines for a six-week period, during which the powers would stop moves to sharpen the mild sanctions already in force, the diplomats said as quoted by the agency.

Iran plans to install another 6,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges at its underground facility in Natanz, in addition to its current 3,600.

Elham also said Iran has maintained cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, its nuclear enrichment being under surveillance by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Iran's nuclear activities are absolutely transparent," he said.

The nuclear agency earlier said Tehran has restricted its inspections of nuclear facilities.


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