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Iran Improves Nuclear Program, Requests Talks With U.N. Security Council

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Common Dreams staff

Today, Iran has announced new progress in its nuclear technology program, including new uranium enrichment centrifuges and home-made nuclear fuel rods. In a move towards transparency, Iran announced it would like to continue stalled nuclear talks with U.N. Security Council members and has reiterated peaceful intensions of its nuclear program.

Reuters reports:

Iran has handed a letter to the European Union's foreign policy chief over its readiness to resume nuclear talks with major powers to discuss the country's disputed nuclear program, Iran's Arabic language Al Alam television reported Wednesday.

"The letter was handed over to Catherine Ashton's office on Wednesday. It expresses Iran's readiness to hold new talks over its nuclear program in a constructive way," Al Alam reported.

Al Arabiya reports:

The letter, written by chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili...reads: “Iran welcomes the readiness of the P5+1 group to return to negotiations in order to take fundamental steps toward further cooperation.”

The P5+1 consists of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus non-permanent member Germany.

“Iran is ready for the continuation of talks,” Jalili’s letter said, adding that Iran “welcomed a recent remark by Ms. Ashton that the European Union respects Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy.” [...]

Western nations, who accuse Tehran of seeking a covert nuclear weapons capability, have ramped up economic sanctions against Iran over the past three months after the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report saying it had evidence the Islamic republic appeared to be conducting research on atomic warheads.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

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