'Iran ready to pursue talks with P5+1'

01 Mar

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast

March 1, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / PRESS TV) —- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to press on with talks with the six major world powers (P5+1) over common issues, Iranian Press TV reported.

“This issue that we have repeatedly informed P5+1 about our readiness show that we will pursue the path of negotiations if these countries are ready to hold talks about cooperation without taking sides and if they place emphasis on interaction and not confrontation,” Mehmanparast told reporters at his weekly press conference on Tuesday.

His comments came a day after a closed-door meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in the Swiss city of Geneva on Monday.

Salehi expressed hope that the meeting would facilitate the work for the upcoming meeting with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.

Mehmanparast pointed to the meeting between Salehi and Ashton and said, “In this meeting, Iran emphasizes its readiness to cooperate with P5+1 on common issues.”

He also pointed to the latest report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano on Iran’s nuclear program and said, “The story of alleged studies is an old and repeated story which has no legal basis at all.”

“It runs counter to a trend that the IAEA should follow with regard to its committed members,” the Iranian spokesperson added.

He emphasized that the legal path of the IAEA should not be affected by Western powers’ pressure.

In its latest report issued on Friday, the UN nuclear agency once again confirmed that Iran’s nuclear program has never been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

The report, however, urges Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment activities, as demanded by four resolutions previously imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

Amano’s latest document is a prelude to the upcoming traditional spring meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors, which is scheduled to convene March 7-11.

Iran has vehemently rejected allegations against its nuclear program, saying it needs nuclear energy to meet its growing domestic demand for electricity and to provide fuel for the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer treatment.   (*)

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