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Iran ready for compromise over nuclear plan - top negotiator
Updated: 2006-01-19 17:01

Iran remains open to seeking a compromise over its disputed nuclear program, but its enrichment research would not be suspended, the country's top nuclear negotiator has said.

"We have not closed the path to compromise. In principle, I believe some complicated international issues can be best solved through talks," Ali Larijani told the BBC in an interview on Wednesday.

"For obtaining nuclear fuel there are many methods and formulas...if they want guarantees of no diversion of nuclear fuel, we can reach a formula acceptable to both sides in talks," said Larijani.

"I don't think the path is closed," he added.

Larijani also confirmed in the interview that Iran would not suspend its enrichment research under any circumstances, saying "they should not ask a brave nation with very good scientists to expect not to engage in nuclear research."

However, the United States and the European Union (EU) said there was no point in further negotiations unless Iran offered fresh proposals.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there was "not much to talk about," adding that the EU had made clear Iran had crossed an important threshold.

"Iran must not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. It must not be allowed to pursue activities that might lead to a nuclear weapon and on that we are fully united," she said.

Meanwhile, France, Germany and Britain have been circulating a draft IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) resolution on referring Iran to the UN Security Council that can apply sanctions.

The IAEA, the UN's atomic watchdog, will hold an emergency meeting on February 2 to discuss whether to refer Iran to the UN Security Council.

While the United States is likely to join European powers in pushing for referral, China and Russia on Monday opposed stern measures against Iran.

Russia said a compromise offer is still on the table, and China has urged all parties to continue negotiations. Both countries hold the power of veto on the UN Security Council.

In response to the possible referral, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was clear the threats by Western countries were "politically motivated."

"We are asking them to step down from their ivory towers and act with a little logic," he said.

Iran has denies allegations that the country is seeking to produce nuclear weapons, saying it just wants the technology for energy purposes only.

But the West fears Iran would extend the enrichment process to weapons production.

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