- Title: IRAN: Iran cleric says ultimutum will not help Iran's nuclear talks
- Date: 26th July 2008
- Summary: (W3) TEHRAN, IRAN (JULY 25, 2008) (REUTERS) FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT, CLERIC AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI WALKING TO PODIUM WORSHIPPERS CHANTING SLOGAN "DEATH TO AMERICA" RAFSANJANI DELIVERING SPEECH AT PODIUM VARIOUS OF WORSHIPPERS LISTENING TO SPEECH BY RAFSANJANI (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT, CLERIC AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI SAYING: "Every time the situation is about to get better, these Western hardliners and radicals begin diverting attention by various propaganda ploys, but We have finally agreed to sit down and negotiations with them." WORSHIPPERS CHANTING SLOGAN "DEATH TO AMERICA" RAFSANJANI DELIVERING SPEECH AT PODIUM / SEEN ON MONITOR OF CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN FORMER PRESIDENT CLERIC AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI SAYING: "Then what is this about issuing a deadline and ultimatum? let's give this negotiations a chance with patience and perseverance." VARIOUS OF WORSHIPPERS SAYING PRAYERS
- Reuters ID: LVAHWNL6QQ10WQYKWGSAFVF8GVE
- Duration: 00:01:25
- Topics: International Relations,Defence / Military
- Story Text: Iran's Rafsanjani says the West's ultimatum will not help the talks with Iran over its nuclear plans.
An influential Iranian cleric and former president Akbar Hashem Rafsanjani during Tehran Friday prayers sermons told the West on Friday (July 25) an ultimatum would not help the talks with Iran over its nuclear plans, after Washington told Tehran it had two weeks to respond to a package of nuclear incentives.
Iran and the six world powers, represented by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, held a meeting in Geneva on July 19 to discuss the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions, which the West fears are aimed at building atomic bombs.
Afterwards, Western officials said Iran had two weeks to reply to the offer for Iran to freeze expanding its nuclear work in return for a halt to new steps towards more U.N. sanctions. Russia, among the six, has said it opposes artificial deadlines.
"Every time the situation (of the nuclear dispute) is about to get better, these Western hardliners and radicals begin diverting attention by various propaganda ploys, but We have finally agreed to sit down and negotiations with them." Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Friday prayers sermons.
"Then what is this about issuing a deadline and ultimatum? let's give this negotiations a chance with patience and perseverance." said Rafsanjani.
Rafsanjani holds several senior posts, including heading a clerical assembly whose role is to supervise the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's ultimate decision maker.
Iranian officials have so far ruled out both a freeze to get preliminary discussions going and a demand that Iran eventually suspend its nuclear programme to start formal talks. Tehran insists its plans are peaceful but says it is ready for talks.
The United States, leading efforts to isolate Iran, has warned Iran that it would face more sanctions, in addition to the three rounds of U.N.
penalties already imposed since 2006, if it fails to meet the two-week deadline.
Russia, with commercial interests in the Islamic Republic, said on Thursday it opposed any artificial deadlines, although it told Iran not to drag out the process.
Western diplomats say Iran's failure to respond clearly to the offer made by the six powers -- which also include Britain, France, Germany and China -- is an effort to buy time.
Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, denies seeking nuclear weapons and insists its aim is to master technology to generate electricity so that it save more of its oil and gas for exports.
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