As Iran and the major world powers prepare to meet, a top Iranian nuclear official has called on the West to refrain from repeating previous mistakes.
“Iran invites negotiating parties to show their goodwill and resolve to bolster strategic cooperation with the Islamic Republic instead of repeating their previous mistakes,” Der Spiegel quoted Saeed Jalili Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council as saying.
After Iran presented its new package of proposals to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Russia, China, Britain, France and the US — plus Germany (P5+1), Tehran and the six major powers agreed on October 1 as the date to hold wide-ranging talks addressing Iran’s nuclear program as well as other global issues.
Iran faces pressure to halt its nuclear enrichment activities, as some Western countries, under pressure from the US and Israel, claim that its program is aimed at building a nuclear bomb.
Tehran, however, has consistently denied seeking nuclear weapons and has called for the dismantling of all weapons of mass destruction across the globe.
Jalili stressed the importance of strengthening convergence and cooperation among all sides to find ways to resolve common concerns.
“It is a prerequisite for Iran and the West to have the culture of dialogue,” the top Iranian negotiator said.
“Despite the differences of opinion on certain issues, (the sides should move to promote) common views,” Jalili added.
He stressed that Iran welcomes cooperation to implement justice, peace and progress in the world.
Jalili’s remarks came days after the Iranian government, in a September 21 letter, informed the UN nuclear watchdog that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant, reportedly near the central city of Qom.
Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the new plant will produce enriched uranium up to 5 percent, consistent with its nuclear energy program.
The UN nuclear watchdog had confirmed in its previous reports that Iran, in its first enrichment facility in Natanz, only managed to enrich uranium-235 to a level “less than 5 percent.”
Uranium, the fuel for a nuclear power plant, can be used for military purposes only if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent.