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Iran expects to hold more nuclear talks: FM


Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Iran expects to hold more talks with world powers over its nuclear program.

“I can’t say it with certainty, but if everything proceeds normally then there should be further negotiations,” Salehi told Austria’s Der Standard newspaper in an interview published on Monday, Reuters reported.

“A breakdown (in talks) is in nobody’s interests. The gaps can only be closed through talking,” he added.

Salehi said, however, that Iran’s right to uranium enrichment had to be recognized from the outset.

“It’s a matter of principle,” he added.

The latest round of high-level talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19, and the two sides agreed to hold expert talks.

And the most recent round of expert talks between Iran and the six major powers was held in Istanbul on July 24. No decision has yet been made about the next round of nuclear talks.

Elsewhere in the interview, Salehi commented on Iran’s threats to block the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway at the neck of the Persian Gulf through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports pass, in response to the sanctions imposed on the country.

“The Persian Gulf is a lifeline for Iran and for the region and for the international community. We are rational. We do not want to cut off this lifeline and cause suffering,” he stated.

“But if we are forced, then Iran must do everything to defend its sovereignty and its national interests,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

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