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TEHRAN, September 5 (Itar-Tass) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has instructed the Foreign Ministry to continue the talks with the P5+1 group.
The P5+1 is a group of countries which in 2006 joined the diplomatic efforts with Iran in regard to its nuclear program. The term refers to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, namely the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
According to IRNA, Saeed Jalili, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, might be appointed as head of the Iranian delegation to the talks.
It was reported earlier that the Iranian delegation will be led by Tehran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the IAEA Reza Najafi, recently appointed by President Hassan Rouhani.
Prior to the appointment, Najafi had headed the department of disarmament and international security in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, worked as a disarmament adviser at the U.N. headquarters in New York and deputy permanent representative of Iran to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
“Our strategy regarding nuclear talks is well known: the West must specify its claims. If we take steps to meet these claims, steps should also be taken to lift the sanctions,” Iranian Ambassador to Russia Reza Sajjadi said earlier this year.
“We advocate a step-by-step policy that was proposed by [Russian] Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov,” he said, adding that if Tehran acted to resolve concerns about its nuclear programme, the international community would have to act reciprocally.
At the previous round of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April 2013, Undersecretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Baqeri said that both Tehran and the P5+1 should take “reciprocal steps” as they continue their talks about Iran’s nuclear energy programme.
At the preceding talks in February, also held in Almaty, the P5+1 offered to ease economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for its agreement to restrict its nuclear activities.
“The P5+1 has offered to ease the sanction pressure and refrain from other sanctions in the U.N. Security Council if Iran agrees to take steps to stop enrichment to 20 percent and steps down operations at the Fordo facility,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told ITAR-TASS.
Prior to the talks, Ryabkov urged the parties to move from talk to action and address concrete issues. “We have been exchanging proposals during the last three rounds. The whole of last year passed under the sign of exchanging proposals. Now it is necessary to take the next step and define the issues, maybe several, which we can start to discuss and talk about what should be done, by whom and in what succession in order to turn these questions from disputable to decided,” the diplomat said.
“There are quite a few of questions like that. One of them is the continuing work in Iran to enrich uranium concentrate to 19.75 percent. This is important because the higher the degree of enrichment, the higher the probability of further enrichment to the so-called weapons-grade level, which can be done quite quickly. And this is one of the matters of concern,” Ryabkov said.
“And this brings us back to mistrust between the parties and their unwillingness to take steps towards each other,” he added.
“At the meeting, the P5+1 proposed a set of confidence-building measures,” the diplomat said.
Iran lauded the progress reached at the previous high-level meeting in Astana on February 26-27 but said that the revision of the P5+1’s positions and its new proposals still failed to meet Iran’s interests.
Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council and Iran’s chief negotiator, said Tehran’s right to enrich uranium must be recognised.
Iran’s then Permanent Representative to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh stressed that Iran’s nuclear programme was its internal affair.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the situation could be settled only through political dialogue on the basis of a gradual and mutual approach and reaffirmed its determination to insist on Iran’s full compliance with the decisions adopted by the U.N. Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors to rule out the creation of a possible military dimension in Iran’s nuclear activities.
Moscow said it would also continue to convince its partners that further pressure or sanctions against Iran would only lead to a deadlock, and stressed that “the threat of force should be ruled out completely”.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will hold a new round of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme in Vienna on September 27.