TEHRAN - Representatives of Iran and the European Union are scheduled to hold a telephone conversation in the next few days about the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
Ali Baqeri, the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), made the announcement during a speech at the University of Tehran on Monday.
“Today, they, the office of Ms. (Helga) Schmid contacted me for a telephone conversation with me, and we are scheduled to hold a telephone conversation today or tomorrow,” he stated.
Baqeri is the deputy of SNSC Secretary Saeed Jalili, who is Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, and Helga Schmid is the deputy secretary general for political affairs of the European External Action Service.
Schmid is regarded as the deputy of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in nuclear negotiations with Iran.
The latest round of high-level talks between Iran and the six major powers was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19.
In his speech, Baqeri commented on the negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group, and said, “This statement that Iran has returned to the negotiating table, or that ‘we will intensify and expand the sanctions so that Iran will return to the negotiating table’ are completely false. We have always been and are ready for talks. They were not ready for negotiations. We have presented them our proposals, but they have not replied yet.”
“The process of the talks that have been held so far has been based on the logic of negotiations and (has been) serious and constructive. Our proposals have not been based only on our stance, but they have been based on legal principles of the international conventions accepted by both sides,” he added.
Baqeri also stated, “If they, the 5+1, are seriously ready, we are ready to hold negotiations about their response to our proposals.”
The major powers have demanded that Iran halt 20 percent enrichment of uranium, shut down the Fordo uranium enrichment facility, and ship all of its stocks of 20 percent enriched uranium out of the country.
Iran’s main demand is that its right to uranium enrichment, as enumerated in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, be recognized.
Commenting on the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran, the SNSC deputy secretary noted, “This approach has failed and is illogical. And they resort to other means, including the sanctions, because they do not have logical means at their disposal for their reasoning.”
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