|Iran hopes to hold constructive talks with IAEA||
TEHRAN – Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has expressed hope that a new round of talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency would produce positive results.
Negotiators from Iran and the UN nuclear agency are scheduled to meet today, November 16.
“The meetings have been constructive so far, and we hope this meeting will also be constructive,” Mehmanparast said during his regular press briefing in Tehran on Tuesday.
“We have always been ready for constructive negotiations, and we hope that the talks will produce positive results,” the spokesman stated.
The most recent meeting between the agency and Iran was held in Tehran on December 13, 2012.
The IAEA has called on Iran to sign and implement a structured approach document to resolve the outstanding issues and has stated that gaining access to the Parchin military site, which is located southeast of Tehran, is a priority for the UN nuclear watchdog.
The IAEA has claimed that Iran might have been trying to sanitize the Parchin site of any incriminating evidence of explosive tests that would indicate efforts to design nuclear weapons. However, Iran has dismissed the claim, calling it “baseless”.
Tehran rejected requests by IAEA delegations to inspect the Parchin site during their visits to Iran from January 29 to 31 and February 21 to 22 and has made it clear that access to the site would not be possible before an agreement is reached on the structured approach document.
Iran, 5+1 group agree on time for new round of talks
Asked about the reports saying that the next round of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) will be held in late January, Mehmanparast said, “Last week, Iran announced its proposals regarding the time and venue of next talks. In addition, last night, Ms. Schmid contacted Mr. Baqeri and during the conversation they reached a conclusion over the time of the negotiations. And it was agreed that Ms. Ashton provide the response of 5+1 countries in regard to the venue of talks so that we can resume the talks.”
Ali Baqeri is the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili, who is Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, and Helga Schmid is the deputy of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Mehmanparast added, “We announced all our proposals at Moscow talks, and they asked for time to reply. Six months have passed, but they have not announced their readiness yet.”
The latest round of high-level talks between Iran and world powers was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19.
The major powers have demanded that Iran halt 20 percent enrichment of uranium, shut down the Fordo uranium enrichment facility, and ship all of its stocks of 20 percent enriched uranium out of the country.
Iran’s main demand is that its right to uranium enrichment, as enumerated in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, be recognized.
Iran calls on U.S. to stop interfering in other countries
Mehmanparast was also asked to comment on the remarks that U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein made on Sunday in which he said that Iran was working with southern secessionists in Yemen to expand its influence.
The Iranian official said, “Such remarks by the U.S. ambassador to Yemen are nothing new and are meant to… sow discord among regional countries.”
He also called on the United States to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
Iran respects all countries’ territorial integrity
On France’s military intervention in Mali to halt the advance of Al-Qaeda-linked groups, Mehmanparast said, “The principles of our foreign policy are based on respect for the territorial integrity of countries, (but) the endangering of stability and security by armed groups supported by foreign countries should not be approved of. We are facing the same problem in the Middle East region. In Syria, armed forces are seeking to create instability in the country, and certain regional countries are supporting them.”
He added, “Any kind of popular demands in countries should be fulfilled through a democratic process.”
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