|Ashton proposes further conversation with Jalili at the end of August||
TEHRAN - European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton held a telephone conversation on Thursday with Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili about nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and world powers.
It was the first time that Ashton, who represents the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in nuclear negotiations with Tehran, had spoken with Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, since the latest round of high-level talks between Iran and the six major powers was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19.
After the Moscow talks, both sides agreed to hold expert talks.
And the most recent round of expert talks was held in Istanbul on July 24, after which Michael Mann, a spokesman for Ashton, said that the next step in discussions between Iran and the 5+1 group would be a conversation between lead negotiators from both sides.
After her conversation with Jalili on Thursday, Ashton said, “As agreed after the Moscow meeting, today I spoke with the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Dr. Jalili about how to move the talks with Iran on the nuclear issue forward,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
“I impressed the need for Iran now to address the issues we have raised in order to build confidence,” she added.
Ashton also said that she had proposed a further conversation at the end of August after a period of “further reflection.”
In addition, the secretariat of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council quoted Jalili as telling Ashton that Tehran has adopted a “constructive”, “effective”, and “creative” approach toward negotiations.
“It is a logical expectation that a clear response be provided to the ideas of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which are based on the realities on the ground,” Jalili stated.
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