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Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Iran wouldn't compromise on its right to enrich uranium, casting doubts on whether the country could reach a deal during talks with international powers in Moscow this month.
Saeed Jalili, the negotiator, updated lawmakers in Iran's parliament Wednesday over the status of the country's nuclear talks in a speech that was aired live on radio and published by official media
Mr. Jalili's narrative of several rounds of nuclear talks dating back to last year suggested a hardening of Iran's position. For example, the diplomat, who represents the views of Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, categorically dismissed a suspension of uranium enrichment, a central demand of the international community.
The diplomat said Iran had recently threatened to pull out of the Moscow talks if they would only focus on the nuclear issue and didn't address Iran's other concerns such as human rights in Bahrain and pirates in the Persian Gulf. He said Iran only changed its mind after Catherine Ashton, the European Union's Foreign Secretary, personally called Mr. Jalili on Monday to reassure him Iran's concerns were on the table.
But Western countries say they won't lift sanctions now and worry that Iran might be stalling talks to buy time for its nuclear program.