TEHRAN – Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani has said that holding direct talks with the United States is not a “red line”.
“The Supreme Leader said in a speech in Mashhad a few years ago, ‘We monitor the Americans’ actions.’ So it should be seen what attitude the U.S. president will display during his new term,” Larijani said in an interview with Al-Alam News Network on Monday.
It should be seen whether or not the United States will help advance the talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over Tehran’s nuclear program instead of adopting an unconstructive stance.
The latest round of talks between Iran and the six major powers was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19, 2012, and a new round of talks is expected to be held in February.
The main bone of contention between Tehran and the West is Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
Iran says all its nuclear activities are totally peaceful, and, as an IAEA member and a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory, it has the legal right to produce nuclear fuel for its research reactors and nuclear power plants.
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 NPT, be recognized.
Larijani denies reports of recent Iran-U.S. talks
Elsewhere in his remarks, Larijani dismissed reports that Iran and the U.S. had recently held unofficial contacts, saying, “Recently, such a thing has not taken place, but we had some talks in Iraq (during the presence of American military forces).”
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