“We are focused merely on the nuclear issues and the negotiations don’t include defensive and scientific issues and everyone has accepted that Iran’s defensive capability is no the subject for the negotiations,” Zarif said, addressing Iranian reporters in Vienna on Thursday after meeting EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton who heads the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) delegations in the talks with Iran.
“We won’t close any (nuclear) site and have announced that no one should prescribe anything or dictate a solution to the Iranian nation; the way to ensure the peaceful nature of our program is not closing the sites, rather its peaceful nature should be displayed openly, transparently and based on the international regulations and supervision,” he added.
Earlier today, Zarif announced that he and Ashon have agreed to meet once a month by June to discuss the issues related to the talks between Tehran and the world powers.
“We agreed to hold several meetings at the level of Ms. Ashton and me every four weeks by (the Iranian month of) Khordad (May-June) and have working meetings between our experts on different issues which are on the agenda,” Zarif wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
Iran and the G5+1 ended their third and last day of talks headed by Zarif and Ashton on Thursday.
The two sides agreed to hold a new round of talks in Vienna on March 17-20.
Zarif ‘s talks with Ashton were focused on finding a lasting solution to the nuclear standoff between the two sides after hectic diplomatic efforts in Geneva in November resulted in an interim agreement.
On November 24, Iran and the world powers, including the US, sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program. In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.
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