|EU’s Ashton urges Iran to resume nuclear talks||
TEHRAN – The EU’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton, who leads global talks with Tehran on its disputed nuclear program, called for a resumption of the talks in a phone conversation with Iran’s new foreign minister on Saturday, AFP reported.
A statement from her spokesperson said Ashton phoned the new Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to congratulate him on his new post.
Ashton “underlined her continued determination and commitment to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue,” the statement said.
It added that she said the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany that Ashton represents in the negotiations “were ready to work with the new Iranian negotiating team as soon as they were appointed.”
“She confirmed the need for substantial talks that will lead to concrete results swiftly,” it said, adding that Ashton and Zarif “agreed to meet soon”.
Early this month Ashton called on Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani to agree a fresh round of negotiations as soon as possible.
Rohani has said Iran is ready for “serious” talks on its nuclear program without delay.
He headed Iran’s nuclear negotiating team under reformist president Mohammad Khatami in the early 2000s, and Western leaders have expressed hope his election could herald a more constructive approach in the protracted talks.
But Rohani has said there could be no surrender of the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy that Iran has under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
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