Iran

Zarif: Iran’s Negotiation Policy Not Based on Taking-Giving Concessions

13920722000617_PhotoIIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his team of negotiators does not plan to give or take concessions to or from the six world powers in tomorrow’s talks, reiterating that Iran only wants to play a win-win game with the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
“Our basis in the negotiations is not giving and taking concessions,” the Iranian foreign minister told reporters upon his arrival in Geneva, Switzerland.

He underlined that Iran is looking for a win-win game in talks with the Group 5+1.

Zarif said that Iran will present a set of proposals during the meeting with the Group 5+1 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to source, Iran’s proposals are based on fully rational and pragmatic approaches and comprise three parts. The first and the last steps of these proposals have been specified and have a timeline.

Zarif, heading a high-ranking delegation, left Tehran for Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday. The Iranian foreign minister and his accompanying delegation are slated to meet their counterparts from the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) states to discuss Iran’s nuclear issue and the western sanctions in a high-profile meeting in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Zarif’s accompanying delegation is comprised of Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for the Economic and Specialized International Affairs Hamid Ba’eedinejad, Legal Advisor to the Foreign Ministry Davoud Mohammadnia, and Mohammad Amiri from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

Iran and the world powers held a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September and decided to meet again in Geneva on October 15-16.

Zarif announced last week that he and his negotiating team are going to offer a new set of proposals during the Geneva talks.

“I will put forward a new plan to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities during the next round of talks with the Group 5+1,” he said, without elaborating on the contents of the new plan.

Also late September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined that his government has full authority from Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for talks with the world’s six major powers.

“The government has sufficient authority to gain substantial results in talks with the Group 5+1,” President Rouhani told reporters at a press conference in New York on the sidelines of a UN meeting where he also held phone talks with US President Barack Obama.

“The government has the necessary authority in nuclear talks and I have chosen the foreign minister for negotiations,” he added.

The Iranian president pointed to the September meeting of foreign ministers of Iran and the six world powers in New York, and said, “The meetings of Dr. Zarif with G5+1’s foreign ministers were held in a positive and inspiring atmosphere and we hope that these talks could soon bear tangible results.”

Iran and the G5+1 have had several rounds of talks in the last few years. Before the New York meeting, representatives of the seven countries had two days of intensive negotiations in Almaty on April 5 and 6, but without making any major breakthrough.

Prior to the Almaty II talks, Iran and the six powers had met in Almaty on February 26-27.

Also, between the two rounds of Almaty talks, experts from Iran and the G5+1 reviewed the two sides’ proposals in a meeting in Istanbul from March 17 to 18. The two sides’ experts also outlined the topics of the talks between the chief negotiators of Iran and the G5+1 for the Almaty II meeting.

Prior to Almaty, Iran and the G5+1 had held three rounds of talks in Geneva, two rounds in Istanbul, one round in Baghdad and one round in Moscow in June 2012.

In Baghdad talks on May 2012, Iran offered a comprehensive package of step-by-step proposals to the six world powers. The Iranian step-by-step proposals offered practical steps to the western sides.

Iran also presented a package of proposals to the world powers in May 2009 offering collective cooperation in resolving major world issues.

The 2009 package of proposals which was presented by the then Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, to the ambassadors and representatives of the six major powers was an all-embracing package offering cooperation between Iran and the West on solutions to a wide variety of global issues.

Iran’s ex-chief negotiator and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili led the Iranian side during the last few rounds of talks with the G5+1 while delegations of the world powers were headed by Catherine Ashton. But following the June presidential election in Iran, which sent Dr. Hassan Rouhani to power, Tehran decided to change its team of negotiators and entrusted the leading role in the negotiations to Zarif and his team, although the SNSC still continues coordinating the talks.

Tehran has also replaced Jalili in the SNSC Secretariat with former Defense Minister Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani. Jalili is now a member of Iran’s Expediency Council (EC) which is chaired by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

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