No threats and no Israel: Iran lays down terms ahead of nuclear talks

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The Independent Online

"If they want to resort to the use of force we will not go into dialogue with them," he said at a summit of eight Muslim-majority nations held in Nusa Dua, Indonesia. "We are ready to hold dialogue with all countries of the world except for the Israeli regime."

Tehran would abide by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Enery Agency in co-operating with other countries, he said. There was no reason for anyone to be nervous about Iran's nuclear plans, he added. "All of them know one hundred per cent that the nuclear programme in Iran is totally peaceful."

At a meeting in Brussels tomorrow, European Union foreign ministers are expected to restate their willingness to help Iran develop a civilian nuclear power programme if the Islamic republic agrees to international controls to ensure it will not build atomic weapons.

The EU and the US fear Iran's nuclear programme is being used to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran says the programme is peaceful and designed to generate nuclear power.

The Europeans are seeking to build on a package of economic and political incentives offered to Iran in August last year in return for a permanent end to uranium enrichment activities.

Iran rejected that deal, but EU governments have continued to offer sweeteners to persuade Iran to bring its nuclear programme into line, as well as pushing at the United Nations for measures that could lead to sanctions if Iran refuses.

Germany, France and Britain - who are leading the European efforts - are working to outline possible advantages Iran might be offered if it complies with international demands. They will meet the US, Russia and China in London on Friday to discuss the resumption of negotiations with Tehran.