Publishe Date: 5:20 PM - 10/12/2013 | Print

Iran deputy FM in China to discuss nuclear program

Politics - Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi is in China to hold talks with high-ranking Chinese officials on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

The Iranian official is scheduled to meet and hold talks with Chinese officials on bilateral relations as well.

The Iranian official’s visit to China comes ahead of the upcoming talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

Iran and the six major world powers --Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US -- plus Germany have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues, mainly Tehran’s civilian nuclear work. The two sides have agreed to meet in the Swiss city of Geneva on October 15 and 16 for a fresh round of talks.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will head the Iranian delegation, but sources close to the Iranian team revealed that Zarif will be present in the negotiations only if other parties are represented by their foreign ministers.

Tehran says it is ready for “serious” and “purposeful” negotiations over its nuclear energy program and has called on the other side to show seriousness in talks.

Iran also says that it is ready to allay Western concerns over its nuclear energy program in a “win-win manner,” but it also expects the other party to lift its illegal sanctions against the Iranian nation.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and European Union using the claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran.

Iran categorically rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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