TEHRAN, June 27, 2006 (AFP) – Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday he saw "no use" in negotiating with the United States and again signalled that Tehran was unwilling to freeze sensitive nuclear work.
Although Khamenei said Iran was ready to ease international concerns over its disputed atomic drive, he said "negotiations with the United States are of no use for us. We have no need for such negotiations."
"We will not negotiate with anyone over the undeniable right of nuclear technology and using it," he added, again signalling Iran was unwilling to bow to international demands to suspend uranium enrichment.
On June 6, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented Iran with an offer — backed by Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — of multilateral talks and a variety of incentives.
The offer — which would pave the way for the first substantive contacts between Iran and the United States in decades — is conditional on Iran first agreeing to suspend enrichment work, the focus of suspicions that the Islamic regime wishes to acquire nuclear weapons.
But Iran appears to still reject the key condition and continues to call for negotiations without any "preconditions".
"If they recognise this right, we are ready to negotiate over supervision controls," Khamenei said of Iran’s nuclear programme, which the regime insists is merely aimed at generating electricity.
In Washington, the White House said it did not consider Khamenei’s comment as the Islamic Republic’s final word on the offer.