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Iran welcomes fair nuclear talks

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says Tehran welcomes fair and purposeful talks with the West over its nuclear program.

“We welcome any purposeful fair talks that respect the nations’ rights,” Mehmanparast said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday when asked about the resumption of talks with the P5+1.

He said that negotiations could yield “fruitful” results if they were held in an atmosphere of “cooperation” rather than confrontation.

Mehmanparast added that Iran was still awaiting a response to a letter by Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on the resumption of talks.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, which Ashton represents, have been stalled since October 1, 2009, when the two sides met in Geneva.

In a letter to Ashton dated July 6, Jalili said that while Iran is still ready to resume talks with the group of six world powers, a number of conditions would first have to be met.

“Once the direction of the negotiations becomes clear, Iran will be ready for talks on constructive international cooperation to remove common concerns,” wrote Jalili in response to a letter by Ashton in mid-June.

He went on to say that all parties must prove their commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s pillars of global disarmament, non-proliferation and the right to peaceful nuclear technology.

Jalili also called for clarification on the nuclear ambiguity of Israel — widely believed to be the Middle East’s sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal.

On Thursday, Ashton put forth the proposal to hold a three-day round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group – Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany -in mid-November in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Ashton’s spokesman, Darren Ennis, also said two days later that the new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group would take place from November 15 to 18 most probably in Vienna.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday re-emphasized the importance of observing the Islamic Republic’s previous preconditions for holding talks with the P5+1.

He said that the six major powers should determine whether they are committed to IAEA regulations and announce whether their objectives of talks are cooperation with Iran or enmity towards the Islamic Republic.

President Ahmadinejad also urged the P5+1 countries to announce their views about Israel’s nuclear bombs.

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