MOSCOW, November 4 (Itar-Tass) - A new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany) will be held in Geneva on November 7-8.
The previous talks took place on October 15-16. Prior to that, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country would a try to come to agreement on Tehran’s nuclear programme within a year.
He said Iran hoped to convince the P5+1 of the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.
The minister said he hoped for progress. “The Iranian nuclear programme is purely peaceful and we will convince everybody of that,” he said.
The minister stressed that the main result of the talks between the P5+1 and Iran should be full lifting of sanctions on Iran.
“We think that the sanctions are counterproductive and are not consistent with international law. Eventually, all international sanctions, including those imposed by the U.N. decision, should be lifted,” Zarif said.
He said he was hopeful for further progress in this direction in a short period of time.
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.
“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.
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”.
Iran is prepared to discuss with the P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany) the possibility of stopping work to enrich uranium to 20 percent, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“Over the past year and a half, a good basis was built for further work, and our Iranian colleagues are prepared to discuss the termination of their 20 percent enriched uranium programme at the talks with the P5+1. It is important that the P5+1 respond to this agreement adequately,” the minister said.
“We appreciate the statements made by the new Iranian leadership regarding its intention to make the Iranian nuclear programme more transparent and look for ways to resolve disagreements. However this should not be done unilaterally but should be accompanied by steps to lift the sanctions, primarily unilateral sanctions, which were imposed by Western and some other countries in violation of their obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov noted that Russia recognised Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including the right to enrich uranium to 20 percent under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“We are convinced that if our position were supported by all other parties to the talks with Tehran, we could hope for greater and better progress,” the minister said.
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.”
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.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during his visit to Cairo on November 3 that “the United States is deeply engaged with the P5+1, in the guarantees that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.”
“That is a promise by the President of the United States,” he stressed.
Yet 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.