|Iran’s Zarif, EU’s Ashton to discuss nuclear talks at UN meeting||
TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Iran is ready to take measures to solve the dispute over the country’s nuclear program.
He made the remarks in an interview with the Mehr News Agency on Friday, recounting his telephone conversation with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on the same day and said that the two officials agreed to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York this month.
President Hassan Rohani announced on Thursday that in his administration the Foreign Ministry would be in charge of the nuclear talks with the major powers.
Since 2003 the Iranian Supreme National Security Council has been handling nuclear talks with the major powers which first started with the European Union trio of Germany, Britain and France and then it expanded to include the U.S., Russia, and China.
“We are keen to solve the issue,” Zarif said, adding should the other side have a political will to solve the issue, it can easily progress.
Also, Ashton’s spokesman Michael Mann said on Friday, “We are in touch with the Iranian side and as the high representative has already told the Iranian foreign minister in their phone conversation in August, we stand ready to resume negotiations.”
Ashton herself said on the same day that she hoped to set a date for nuclear talks with Iran when she meets Zarif during a United Nations gathering this month.
Ashton added world powers wanted to move quickly to resume negotiations over the Iranian program, Reuters added.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has set three principles for holding negotiations with world powers, Zarif said, explaining that the talks should be conducted on an equal position to serve mutual respect and reciprocal interest.
He further explained that the West should recognize the Iranian people’s right to nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment. He added that in response, Tehran would take measures to allay international concerns and overcome mistrusts on its nuclear activities.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif described the sanctions against the Islamic Republic as “cruel” and “illegal” and expressed hope that through constructive negotiations the sanctions would be ended and there would not be any excuse for the imposition of the sanctions.
Iran says it is enriching uranium only to fuel nuclear power stations, and for medical purposes.
Iran has held several rounds of talks with the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over its nuclear program.
The talks have so far failed to produce a breakthrough.
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