Iran favors interaction with P5+1: Foreign Minister
Press TV -(Fri Apr 26, 2013) Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has reiterated Tehran’s stance in favor of interaction and against confrontation in talks with the P5+1 group of world powers, stressing that the negotiations should be based on wisdom and logic.
Addressing reporters upon his arrival in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Thursday, Salehi expressed hope that the P5+1 – Russia, China, Britain, France and the US plus Germany – would return to the negotiating table and prevent further prolongation of the talks.
Tehran and the six world powers have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues, with the main focus being Iran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides wrapped up their latest round of negotiations on April 6 in the Kazakh city of Almaty. An earlier meeting was also in Almaty on February 26-27.
EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, represented the group of six powers while Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili headed the Iranian negotiating team.
Salehi further called on the P5+1 representatives to remain committed to their promise of announcing the results of their consultations with their respective governments.
On Wednesday, Iran’s SNSC Deputy Secretary Ali Baqeri said Ashton had yet to contact Iran’s Jalili despite promises made following the Almaty 2 talks.
“During a press conference, Mrs. Catherine Ashton clearly stated that the P5+1 representatives would return to their capitals and after consulting with their [senior] officials, Mr. Jalili would be informed of their decision within a few days. But weeks past that time, no response has yet been received,” Baqeri explained.
The West led by the United States accuses Iran of potentially using its nuclear energy program as a cover for military proposes. Iran has vehemently rejected the allegation, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Salehi said that he is visiting Almaty with the purpose of attending the “Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference” with a focus on Afghanistan.
The third “Heart of Asia” foreign ministerial meeting, comprising of some 40 states and regional and international organizations, would be held to strengthen relations among regional nations, he noted.
The Iranian minister added that the meeting would discuss ways to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country after 2014.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains across the country, despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.
Afghanistan and the US signed a strategic partnership agreement in May 2012, which would allow the US to keep some military bases in Afghanistan after its key forces withdraw from the country in 2014.
The administration of US President Barack Obama is contemplating a plan to keep up to 9,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan to conduct what it calls counter-terrorism operations and provide assistance to Afghan forces.
Fars NA -(Fri Apr 26, 2013) FM: Iran Waiting for World Powers’ Response
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the Islamic Republic is waiting for the representatives of the Group 5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany) to inform Tehran on the results of their consultations with their governments.
Salehi called on the G5+1′s representatives to remain committed to their promise of announcing the results of their consultations with their respective governments.
He underlined Tehran’s stance in favor of interaction and against confrontation in talks with the P5+1 group of world powers, stressing that the negotiations should be based on wisdom and logic.
Addressing reporters upon his arrival in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Thursday, Salehi expressed hope that the world powers would return to the negotiating table and prevent further prolongation of the talks.
On April 6, Iran and the six world powers wrapped up two days of intensive negotiations in Almaty.
The Iranian team was led by Jalili, who is also the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), and the G5+1′s representatives were presided byAshton.
Analysts believe that the talks will continue after the upcoming presidential election in Iran since no substantial development or agreement can take place in the two months left to the voting.
Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast described the latest round of talks with the world powers in Kazakhstan as “positive”, and said Tehran is waiting for the opposite side’s response to its proposals.
“The two sides’ comments described as positive the start of straightforward and serious expression of views, and to take a correct step, our officials expressed their views and the Group 5+1 should now respond,” Mehman-Parast said at a weekly press conference in Tehran.
“We are (now) waiting for Mrs. Ashton’s response and her consultations with the G5+1,” he added.