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Iran hopes for breakthrough at nuclear talks this year

September 18, 2013, 22:08 UTC+3
The International Atomic Energy Agency will hold a new round of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme in Vienna on September 27
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

TEHRAN, September 18 (Itar-Tass) - Iran hopes for a breakthrough at the talks on its nuclear programme this year, Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Head and Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said.

“We shall see a breakthrough on the issue within the next several months,” Salehi said on Wednesday, September 18.

Iranian talks have lately reached a stalemate as the United States and its Western allies suspect Tehran of harbouring secret plans to create nuclear weapons and imposed economic sanctions against the country, while the Iranian government insists that it only wants to build nuclear power plants.

Many observers welcomed the election of Hassan Rouhani the new president of Iran and hope that he will be able to reach a compromise with the West. The president called for constructive interaction with the outside world. He 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.

“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 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.

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.

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