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Larijani: Iran ready for nuclear talks

29 August 2010 10:10

As the US expresses optimism about future talks on Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says Tehran has never refused nuclear talks.

US State Department spokesman P J Crowley on Thursday said the United States is hopeful that talks between Iran and P5+1 – Russia, China, France, Britain and the US as well as Germany — and with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tehran’s nuclear issue will be held in the next few weeks.

“We are hopeful that the constructive meetings, both at the IAEA and with the P5+1, can be set up in the next few weeks,” Crowley said.

He added that there are discussions ongoing between Iran, IAEA and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.

The Iranian Parliament speaker reacted to the remarks, saying, “We have never declined negotiations and at certain juncture they left the negotiations table.”

“Iran had earlier raised the issue of negotiations on the nuclear case within the framework of 5+1 or the Vienna group,” ISNA quoted Larijani as saying on Sunday.

“Nothing new has happened and Iran raised no new issue,” he added.

The upcoming round of nuclear negotiations between Iran, the Vienna group, and the P5+1 will open in mid-September in an unprecedented climate of trust.

But aside from focusing on the nuclear standoff, the talks are certain to open a new chapter in Iran-EU relations.

The Vienna group, comprising the US, Russia, France and the IAEA, has in recent months declared its readiness to resume nuclear discussions with Tehran.

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