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Iran to set preconditions for talks with US: MP

A member of Iran’s Majlis says the Islamic Republic will set preconditions for negotiations with the United States, saying Tehran will hold talks with Washington only on an equal footing.

“For negotiations, both sides should be in an equal position,” Hossein Nejabat said on Friday.

As long as the issue of tightening the sanctions against the Iranian nation is being raised, one cannot expect Tehran to sit at the negotiating table with Washington, he added.

At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran refutes the allegation and argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Nejebat said ” the US should first build confidence,” adding that Washington must also take a practical step to prepare the ground for talks.

The Iranian lawmaker pointed to US media reports about the possibility of US-Iran direct talks before the presidential election on November 6, saying that such claims are merely “journalistic remarks.”

He stressed the importance of determining the purpose and level of talks between Iran and the US in order for the issue to be considered seriously.

Analysts believe that the US has blocked the possibility of holding logical negotiations with Iran by imposing illegal and inhumane sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

On November 9, Obama extended the state of emergency order against Iran for another one year as American lawmakers plan to impose a set of new sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear energy program.

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