Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi Wednesday rejected media claims that the talks between Tehran and the six world powers have stalled, and said exchange of views still continues between the two sides over a proper data and venue for the next round of talks.
“The time and place for the negotiations have not yet been decided and exchange of views continues between Mr. Jalili and Ms. Ashton in this regard,” Salehi told FNA referring to Iran’s lead negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the world powers in negotiations with Tehran.
He said that many countries have announced their preparedness to host the talks between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany), and said, “If consultations in this regard yield no result, we will study other options.”
Salehi also said that during a recent visit he had to Cairo, the issue of holding Iran-world powers’ talks in Egypt was raised and was welcomed by the Egyptian officials, adding that consultations are still underway between Tehran and Cairo in this regard.
His remarks came after Jalili said early this month that Tehran and the G5+1 would resume talks later this month, although the place and date for the negotiations have not been finalized.
He told reporters in New Delhi that Tehran has agreed to a new round of talks this month.
“We have accepted that these talks should be held in January … but till now the details have not been finalized,” Jalili said.
The talks would be the first high-level negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program since the negotiations in Moscow in June, offering at least the prospect of a thaw in a standoff that has grown increasingly tense in recent months.
Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Despite the rules enshrined in the NPT entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.
Tehran has dismissed West’s demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.
Tehran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of IAEA’s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.