|Iran never intends to halt nuclear talks: Salehi||
TEHRAN – Iran said on Wednesday it never intended to break off the talks with world powers aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“We have repeatedly said that we have never intended to halt the negotiations,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said at a joint press conference with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawai bin Abdullah in Tehran in reply to a question about the talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany).
The latest round of talks between Tehran and the six major powers were held in Moscow on June 18 and 19, 2012. The sides are expected to meet again in February.
Salehi said, “It has always been the other side which has suspended the talks, and we have always announced that we are ready for negotiations. But they, through using the media power they have, are giving the impression that it is Iran which is escaping from negotiations. However, it is clear that this is not the case.”
Asked about the date and venue for a new round of talks, Salehi said that no decision had yet been made in this regard.
Turkey, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, and a number of other countries have proposed that they host the talks, he said, adding that Cairo could be a suitable venue given Egypt’s status.
A reporter asked the Omani foreign minister if there is a possibility that Iran nuclear talks be held in Muscat, and he, according to a Persian translation of his comments carried by the Mehr News Agency, replied, “We are not on the list and are not keen to be put on the list.”
Omani FM disputes similarity between Bahrain and Syria crises
During the press conference, the Iranian foreign minister also commented on the situation in Syria and Bahrain, saying that exercising double standards on the situation in the two countries “indicates the use of political issues as a tool to achieve political objectives.”
“In Syria, the international community has become united to bring down the government due to certain political purposes, but the similar situation in Bahrain has not brought any reaction,” he added.
There is no solution to the Syrian crisis except national dialogue and the establishment of a transitional government, Salehi said.
However, the Omani foreign minister, according the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency, said, “There is no similarity between Bahrain and Syria.”
Syria is in war, but “in Bahrain there are certain disagreements between the government and political bodies, and this issue requires political dialogue between the Bahraini government and these organizations and bodies.”
In his remarks, the Omani official acknowledged that terrorists are active in Syria.
Salehi calls Iran-Oman ties developing
During the press conference, Salehi commented on relations between Iran and Oman, saying, “We have consensus on many issues. However, we may have differing views about certain issues like any other two countries. So far, we have seen an increase in political ties and relations in other areas, including economic and trade ties and people-to-people contacts.”
And the Omani foreign minister said that relations between the two countries are transparent and based on honesty.
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