Jalili: Iran Will Never Give up its Nuclear Rights
Iran rejects Western pressures over its nuclear activities and will never give up its rights, Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator said Thursday ahead crunch talks with world powers in Baghdad next week.
"If we participate in the negotiations... it is because of our resistance (to Western powers). Thanks to our resistance, we have defended the rights of the Iranian people," Saeed Jalili said in a speech broadcast on local television.
"The Iranian people will never give up even an iota of their rights," Jalili added, in reference to the Islamic republic's nuclear drive which the West suspects is masking a weapons program. Tehran vehemently denies the charge.
"I advise Western officials against making calculated mistakes. In Baghdad, we can negotiate for cooperation on the basis of respect for Iran's undeniable rights.
"The path chosen by our country is a path of no return. The (West) would like to block Iran's progress in the nuclear domain, but they have failed. Iran today has become a nuclear power," he said.
Jalili also reiterated that sanctions and international pressure were not affecting Iran's determination.
"To those who say that time is running for dialogue, I reply: What is running out is the policy of pressuring Iran, because this strategy has not yielded the results" expected by world powers.
The United States and the European Union have tightened economic sanctions on Iran, imposing tough restrictions on its vital oil industry, to pressure it over its disputed uranium enrichment program.
U.S. President Barack Obama warned Iran in March that time was running out to resolve the standoff through diplomacy.
Iran and the P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany -- held their first talks in 15 months in Istanbul in mid-April, and agreed to more in-depth discussions in Baghdad on May 23.