Israel miffed at Iran-West talks
TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran's arch-foe Israel is unhappy with talks between Tehran and the West, but he hopes the negotiations will continue, ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.
The hardliner also said that Iran approaches the talks with Western powers on the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions with a sense of distrust, because of what he called their past "negative record."
"We hope the negotiations continue and evil powers don't indulge in mischief because the Zionist regime and other domineering powers are unhappy with the talks," ISNA quotedAhmadinejad as telling a local television channel in northeast Iran late Friday.
On Thursday, he said that "conditions were ready" for nuclear cooperation between Iran and world powers.
Tehran is also engaged in a separate dialogue with UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency over procuring nuclear fuel for a Tehran research reactor.
Western powers have backed a UN-drafted deal for supplying the fuel, but Tehran has yet to give its final verdict on the accord.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday called the UN-brokered plan "a positive first step."
Speaking at a meeting with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, he hailed US President Barack Obama's "ongoing efforts to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear military capability.
"I think that the proposal that the president made in Geneva to have Iran withdraw its enriched uranium, or a good portion of it, outside Iran is a positive first step in that direction," Netanyahu said.
"I support and appreciate the president's ongoing efforts to unite the international community to address the challenge of Iran's attempts to become a nuclear military power."
The UN-drafted plan envisages sending Iran's low-enriched uranium abroad for converting into fuel for the Tehran reactor.
But Ahmadinejad said Iran still distrusts in Western powers in the talks.
"The government, like all Iranian people, looks at the negotiations with no trust, given the negative record of Western powers, but realities make them interact with Iranian people," he said.
"Today the Westerners know that without interaction with Iran, they cannot manage the world because Iran... manages the world's public opinion."
Ahmadinejad also said Tehran was "alert" over ongoing talks with the six world powers over its controversial nuclear programme.
Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the United States held one round of talks with Iran on October 1 which were aimed at allaying Western concerns over Tehran's nuclear programme.
The world powers suspect Iran aims to make nuclear weapons, a charge its denies.