|5+1’s Almaty proposal has faded into history: Iranian FM||
TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the proposal that world powers made in Kazakhstan to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program has “faded into history” and they should adopt a new attitude.
“We have said that that proposal has faded into history, and they must enter negotiations with a new attitude,” Zarif said in an interview broadcast live on Iranian television late on Saturday, in reference to the proposal that the six major powers made in the February talks with Iran in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
Iran has held several rounds of nuclear talks with the six major powers, namely the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany, which are known as the 5+1 group, over its nuclear program.
Tehran says its program is solely for peaceful purposes, but the West suspects it may be aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
According to the New York Times, in the February talks, the major powers dropped their demand that Iran shut down its underground uranium-enrichment plant at Fordo, where it enriches uranium to 20 percent, and insisted instead that Iran suspend enrichment work there and agree to unspecified conditions that would make it hard to quickly resume production. They also said that Iran could continue to keep a small amount of uranium enriched to 20 percent for use in a research reactor that produces medical isotopes.
During the interview, Zarif, who is Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, commented on the new round of talks which are scheduled to be held in Geneva on October 15 and 16, saying, “Our goal in negotiations is to reach mutual understanding. We have some ideas and have mulled over a number of issues which we will put forward in an appropriate way and hope can be a good start.
“We are ready to prepare the ground for them… They can build confidence with the Iranian people… It remains to be seen whether they can pass this test.”
He also said, “We are not ready to hold negotiations for the sake of negotiations. Negotiations must yield a result, and we have said that we feel we can reach to a point where we can implement the final stage in a year.”
“We believe that negotiations for the sake of negotiations undermine confidence, and if we want to build confidence, we have to reach a result,” he added.
Asked about the level of talks, Zarif said, “In our view, the talks should be at the level of foreign minister, but negotiations are underway to determine the level of talks… Ms. Ashton and I will participate in the talks anyway.”
Ashton leads diplomatic efforts to resolve the decade-old nuclear dispute on behalf of the six major powers.
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