Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused major world powers on Wednesday of looking for ways to “find excuses and to waste time” in talks over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.
“Iran is ready to pursue negotiations in Moscow, and even in Beijing, and has made good proposals,” Ahmadinejad said in the Chinese capital, according to AFP, referring to talks set for later this month in Moscow.
“But taking into account that, after a meeting in Baghdad and, in conformity with what was agreed, our efforts to arrange a meeting between the deputies of (EU foreign policy chief Catherine) Ashton and the deputy of (Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili) have not been successful, we consider that the West is looking for excuses to waste time,” he added, in remarks posted on the government website.
Earlier on Wednesday, Jalili said that Iran doubts the willingness of world powers to succeed in upcoming talks in Moscow over its disputed nuclear program.
“Delay by the other side in holding the meeting of experts and deputies is casting doubt and uncertainty on the willingness (of the P5+1) for success in the talks in Moscow,” state news agency IRNA quoted Jalili as saying in a letter to Ashton.
“The process of talks only for (further) talks is fruitless,” added Jalili.
Iran's doubts were publicized a day after reports that it had sent two letters to Ashton’s deputy, asking for a preparatory meeting of experts as agreed in talks last month in Baghdad.
Iran's Supreme National Security Council, which oversees the nuclear talks, found the EU response to the letters “unsatisfactory” and only touching on “general topics,” AFP reported.
Ashton spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told AFP on Wednesday that to succeed in Moscow “engagement on substance is key, not the process.”
“The issue is of (a) political nature and we need (a) clear signal of Iranian readiness to engage on the substance” of proposals made by the P5+1 in Baghdad, she said, adding that “Ashton will take up the issue directly” with Jalili.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week the Islamic Republic must act by this month's talks with world powers in Moscow.
“Our negotiations with Iran have never been about intentions or sincerity, but about actions and results,” Clinton said, adding the U.S. needed to see “concrete actions” at the talks in Russia's capital, which are set to begin June 17.
Meanwhile, Iran accused the United Nations nuclear watchdog of spying and vowed never to suspend uranium enrichment.
Tehran's IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said “Iran will resist to the end” and “will not permit our national security to be jeopardized” by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors working for Western intelligence agencies.
Soltanieh added, “Iran will never suspend its enrichment activities.”
Earlier this week the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reported that Iran may be building a third gas centrifuge enrichment plant.
The report cited concerns that Iran’s position that it can delay telling the IAEA about the construction of a nuclear facility until six months before the introduction of nuclear material, means it can essentially finish building a plant before notifying the IAEA of its existence.