June 5, 2012 / 12:11 PM / 5 years ago

Iran urges powers to accept nuclear rights in talks

DUBAI (Reuters) - An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader has urged world powers to formally recognise its nuclear rights to bring about a “favourable result” at talks on its atomic programme later this month, state media reported on Tuesday.

Despite Iranian pressure in talks last month, Western countries avoided any explicit recognition, saying Tehran had no automatic right to enrich uranium because of its previous violations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Iran maintains that under its membership of the NPT, it can develop a full nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful purposes including the preparation and enrichment of uranium.

“I hope the P5+1 group recognises Iran’s inalienable nuclear right within the framework of the NPT and refrains from sitting on the sidelines,” IRNA quoted Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying.

“By accepting Iran’s right to use peaceful nuclear energy, the forthcoming talks in Moscow should reach a favourable result.”

Khamenei - who has total command over Iran’s nuclear policy - has publicly forbidden the development of nuclear weapons.

But Western nations suspect that the Islamic Republic’s higher-grade uranium enrichment is part of a clandestine programme to develop the material and components needed for the capacity to produce nuclear arms.

Reporting By Marcus George; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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