|Iran says Saudi-Qatar call to join nuclear talks is ‘irrelevant’||
TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday rejected calls by Qatar and Saudi Arabia that the Persian Gulf Arab states be given a seat at the nuclear talks between Tehran and the six major powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, known as the 5+1 group).
In an interview with Reuters on Saturday, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah said the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman and the UAE - deserved a place at the table as essential partners in regional stability.
Also, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief said on Sunday that the six-nation bloc must be part of the negotiations between major world powers and Iran, according to AFP.
Marzieh Afkham, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, described such remarks as “irrelevant” and said the mechanisms for resolving the nuclear dispute between Iran and the West are clear enough.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, also said the presence of the Persian Gulf Arab nations on the 5+1 committee is “out of question”.
Persian Gulf Arab capitals cautiously welcomed an interim nuclear accord between Tehran and six powers agreed on November 24, but some officials said Western allies had not briefed them adequately on the deal.
The agreement between Iran and the major powers - known as the P5+1 group - offers Tehran some relief from economic sanctions in return for more oversight of its nuclear program.
Commenting on the recent U.S. president’s remarks against Iran’s nuclear program, Afkham said that all sanctions against Iran would be lifted at the endgame while Iran’s nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment, would be upheld.
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