Iran FM urges West to lift sanctions before next round of talks
The Iranian Foreign Minister has called on Western governments to lift their sanctions against Iran before the next round of talks between Tehran and the six world powers in Baghdad in late May.
“The Istanbul meeting was a turning point in the talks [between Iran and the world powers],” Ali Akbar Salehi said on the sidelines of a Monday visit to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).
Previously, the other side did not step into the negotiations with the intent to resolve the issues, “but presently things have changed,” he added.
Referring to the country’s successful indigenous production of nuclear fuel, Salehi said, “The other side has realized Iran’s progress despite all the restrictions and pressures.”
Salehi added that the other side hoped Iran would surrender its nuclear energy rights under pressure, but when faced with the resolve and resistance of Iranians, the West decided to come to the negotiation table.
“Today, they returned to the talks; it was not us who returned to the talks as we were committed to negotiations from the start.”
Salehi added that another reason why the West decided to resume negotiations was the adverse impact that tensions against Iran was having on the US economy.
Iran’s policy is one of “transparency, dialogue and win-win solutions,” Salehi said, adding, “We are ready to create the conditions that can help alleviate the fabricated concerns that they [Western powers] have made up in their minds because we are sure of ourselves.”
Elsewhere, Salehi underlined the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program and referred to a fatwa, religious decree, issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei which declares atomic weapons as haram, or forbidden according to Islam.
Iran and the P5+1 group – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – wrapped up two rounds of negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday and agreed to hold the next round of talks in Baghdad on May 23, 2012. Both sides hailed the talks as “constructive” and “positive.”
The EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton described the talks as useful and constructive, saying that Iran has the right to have a civilian nuclear program.
Tehran and the P5+1 previously held two rounds of talks, one in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2010 and another in Istanbul in January 2011.
- Lawmaker to West: Close Iran nuclear case (alethonews.wordpress.com)
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