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Iran open to talks, no preconditions set

A senior Iranian official says Tehran is ready for further talks with major world powers provided that its rights are not violated, refuting claims that it has set preconditions.

Iran and the P5+1 — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — wrapped up their second round of comprehensive talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday.

“We are still prepared for further negotiations with the P5+1, based on common issues. [We are] prepared for comprehensive talks like we said in Geneva,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili told reporters in a press conference following talks with the six world powers.

Earlier in the press conference, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton claimed that the P5+1 had hoped to have a “detailed and constructive” negotiation, accusing the Iranian side of seeking to set “preconditions on talks relating to enrichment and sanction.”

Addressing the issue, Jalili said that Iran had discussed certain necessities that need to precede any meaningful talks, such as strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and nuclear disarmament.

“Fuel swap can be the basis for cooperation between nations… and it could be a subject for further negotiations,” he added.

This is while Ashton told reporters, “On the fuel cycles, we have said many times, including today, that we recognize Iran’s right to a civil nuclear program.”

“The countries I represent remain united in seeking a swift resolution of the international communities’ concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program,” she added. “It remains essential that Iran demonstrates that its program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

The US and its allies accuse Iran of developing a military nuclear program, and used this pretext to pressure the UN Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran’s financial and military sectors in June.

Iranian officials have repeatedly refuted the charges, arguing that as a signatory to the NPT and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has a right to use peaceful nuclear technology.

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