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26 January 2012 - 22:31

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday Iran is willing to follow negotiations on its nuclear program with the world powers based on mutual respect.

According to Khabar Online political correspondent, as well as Salehi, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Sa'eed Jalili expressed Iran's readiness to follow nuclear talks in his response to a letter the European Union (EU) foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton sent to the Islamic Republic's officials.
 
The only pretext EU introduced for imposing a new round of economic sanctions on Iran was "to see Iran come back to the negotiation table" which was voiced by Ashton. 
 
She said: "I want the pressure of these sanctions to result in negotiations. I want to see Iran come back to the table and either pick up all the ideas that we left on the table ... last year ... or to come forward with its own ideas," Reuters reported.
 
The new sanctions include an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, purchase or transport Iranian crude and petroleum products. However, EU countries would adhere to existing contracts up to July 1.
 
All these actions are taken to halt enriching uranium by the Islamic Republic which they claim is aimed at producing atomic weapons but has been firmly rejected by Tehran which stresses its nuclear program is peaceful in nature.
 
Earlier, Ashton who represents the 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany) spoke on his letters to Jalili, the head of Iran's negotiating team, and Salehi in line with EU's efforts to continue nuclear talks with Iran, without pointing to Iranian officials’ responses to such efforts.
 
As a matter of fact, both Salehi and Jalili have welcomed the new rounds of negotiations, as in his last letter to Ashton, Jalili announced the Islamic Republic is ready to hold talks with the 5+1 group.
 
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed plans for a visit on the January 29-31 by senior inspectors to try to clear up what it calls "questions raised about the purpose of Iran's nuclear activities."
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