|Iran rejects claims on buying time in nuclear talks||
TEHRAN – Iran has dismissed the claims that it is buying time to delay a new round of talks with the six major world powers.
On Monday, Reuters reported that a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that Iran had not agreed to hold a meeting with the representatives of the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in Istanbul at the end of January.
Also on January 23, Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, had claimed that Iran was stalling on fixing a date and location for a new round of talks on its nuclear program.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi denied the claims, saying that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been ready to hold talks.
“Istanbul is one of our best choices, but a number of other countries, such as Sweden, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, and Turkmenistan, have offered to host this round of talks as well.”
“We have never broken off discussions and… we are ready to hold talks until we reach a result that all agree on,” he added.
“We made a suggestion to Egypt (to host the talks) and (they) expressed readiness, and it is having consultations with the 5+1 group,” Salehi told reporters on Monday on the sidelines of the 2013 Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
It seems that for some reasons, the 5+1 group wants to hold talks in another place, he stated.
Iran and the 5+1 group held three rounds of talks last year, the latest round of which was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19, 2012.
The Iranian foreign minister also commented on Tehran-Cairo ties, saying after the great popular revolution in Egypt, the situation has dramatically changed and it is not comparable to the past.
“I have made three visits to Cairo over the past few months, the last one of which was an… official visit,” Salehi said and predicted that relations between the two countries will flourish in the future.
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