Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi announced on Tuesday that the world powers have welcomed the general points of Tehran’s proposals on the settlement the country’s nuclear standoff with the West, adding that Iran is seeking to encourage the opposite side to pursue a common goal for the negotiations.
“The Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) member states welcomed the generalities of Iran’s plan,” Araqchi, who is the spokesman of the Iranian team of negotiators, told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday after the first session of the talks in the morning.
He noted that the two sides will decide the date for the next round of talks, which, he said, will likely be in the next month, in their Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday sessions.
Araqchi said that Iran and the world powers should take certain steps for the settlement of Tehran’s nuclear issue, and added, “The time of these steps should be specified because Iran does not want to move in an ambiguous atmosphere.”
He also stressed that Iran has defined a common goal for the negotiations, and said, “Unlike the previous meetings that every side entered the negotiations to attain its own goals, this time we will try to design a common goal and then move towards it.”
“The negotiations were held in a highly positive atmosphere and the two sides were serious when speaking of their issues,” Araqchi said.
In the morning session, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif started the talks on the Iranian side and presented Tehran’s new package of proposals to the opposite side, but he would not attend the afternoon session, and Araqchi would take the lead for the Iranian side.
Zarif has announced that he would come back to lead the Iranian team in the talks when his counterparts from the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) take part in the negotiations. At present, the talks are held at the level of deputy foreign ministers.
Asked about Iran’s new package of proposals, Araqchi said the package is “confidential” and the two sides have agreed to keep it secret until an agreement is made.
“Mr. Zarif had a powerpoint presentation of the plan in details, the generalities of the plan were discussed in the morning session and the details will be studied by (the two sides’) political directors in the afternoon,” Araqchi added.
He said that Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton who represents the six world powers in the nuclear talks with Tehran will not be present in the afternoon session.
Araqchi expressed the hope that the representatives of Iran and the G5+1 would be able to make a decision on the date of the next round of the talks between the two sides during the Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday sessions.
Zarif, heading a high-ranking delegation, left Tehran for Geneva on Monday. His accompanying delegation is comprised of Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for the Economic and Specialized International Affairs Hamid Ba’eedinejad, Legal Advisor to the Foreign Ministry Davoud Mohammadnia, and Mohammad Amiri from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
Iran and the world powers held a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September and decided to meet again in Geneva on October 15-16.