Publishe Date: 1:59 PM - 12/28/2013 | Print

Leader's Aide Calls for More Interaction among Iran, World Powers

Politics - Supreme Leader’s Top Advisor for International Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati offered a new plan of interaction to the Iranian negotiating team to be used in the talks with the six major world powers.

“If we don’t have interactions with each of these six countries and don’t hold one-on-one talks with them, we have not used a right method. We should negotiate with different countries separately,” Velayati, who served as Iran's foreign minister for a 16-year-long period, said in a Friday TV interview.

He pointed to Iran’s previous bilateral talks with the United States on Iraq and Afghanistan and noted that Tehran and Washington can also hold direct talks about Iran’s nuclear energy program.

A Friday report said that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) will resume their experts-level talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 30.

Hamid Baeidinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, will lead the Iranian delegation, which will include experts from nuclear, banking, oil and transportation sectors.

During a phone conversation on December 22, Iran's Foreign Minister and top negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton who heads the world powers’ delegations in the talks with Tehran decided to continue the negotiations between their experts after Christmas.

Last week, Iran and the six world powers held four days and five rounds of talks in Geneva, Switzerland, in a bid to devise mechanisms to implement the interim nuclear deal struck last month.

Stephen Clement, who is an aide to the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, heads the opposite negotiating team.

Iran and the six world powers resumed their talks in Geneva on December 19.

Iran and the six world powers had an expert meeting in Vienna, Austria, on December 9.

The negotiations were scheduled to continue until December 13, but the Iranian negotiators cut short the talks and returned to Iran in protest at the US breach of the Geneva agreement by blacklisting a dozen companies and individuals for evading Washington’s sanctions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe Tehran’s anger over Washington’s fresh sanctions in a phone call to his Iranian counterpart Zarif.

On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 sealed the 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.

Speaking to reporters after the phone conversation between the two top diplomats, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said, “The phone call was initiated by the US secretary of state.”

Afkham, who was speaking to reporters during a weekly press conference on Tuesday, told reporters that during the phone talk "he (Kerry) was informed of Iran’s dissatisfaction with the trend of the experts' plan and the details of the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement)”.

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