Publishe Date: 7:51 PM - 10/14/2013 | Print

Iranian FM: Talks-for-Talks Not Acceptable

Politics - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who will lead the nuclear talks with the world powers in Geneva this week, said Tehran wants goal-oriented talks with a specified timeline with the world powers, cautioning that pursuing talks for the sake of talks will be just a waste of time and fruitless.

"We will try to achieve results in the negotiations as soon as possible and we will not allow negotiations to turn into a goal itself," Zarif wrote on his facebook page on Sunday night before leaving Tehran for Geneva to participate in the high-profile talks with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Iranian top diplomat said that he will present Iran's proposed framework for the settlement of the nuclear issue to the G5+1 in the first session and then will entrust his colleagues with continuing the negotiations, "and if necessary I will interfere".

Zarif expressed the hope that Iran and the world powers can reach agreement on a roadmap for the settlement of Tehran's nuclear issue, and said, "If the other side shows good will, we will possibly need another meeting at the level of ministers to agree on the details and start of their implementation."

Iran and the world powers held a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September and are due to meet again in Geneva on October 15-16.

On April 6, Iran and the six world powers wrapped up two days of intensive negotiations in Almaty, but without making any major breakthrough.

Earlier reports said yesterday that several senior officials of the Iranian foreign ministry and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) will accompany Zarif in the upcoming nuclear talks with the G5+1 in Geneva on Tuesday.

Zarif who will preside the Iranian delegation in the negotiations with the world powers is due to be accompanied by two of his deputies Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi, Foreign Ministry's Director-General for the Economic and Specialized International Affairs Hamid Ba'eedinejad, Legal Advisor to the Foreign Ministry Davoud Mohammadnia, and Mohammad Amiri from the AEOI.

The Tuesday negotiations will start at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, at 9:30 Geneva time (12:00 Tehran time).

"The negotiations will be headed by Zarif and European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and will then continue at the level of their deputies; meaning that Seyed Abbas Araqchi will continue the talks accompanied by the Iranian team," an informed source told FNA on Sunday.

"In this round of negotiations, the Iranian team which enjoys the necessary level of seriousness and authority is ready for targeted and progressive negotiations and is due to present its new written package of proposals which is based on realistic approaches to the G5+1," the source added.

On Thursday, Zarif announced that he and his negotiating team are going to offer a new set of proposals during the upcoming talks with the six world powers in Geneva.

“I will put forward a new plan to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities during the next round of talks with the Group 5+1,” Zarif said, without elaborating on the contents of the new plan.

Washington and its western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions and the western embargos for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.

Tehran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.


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