Iran 'serious' about talks with G5+1; proposes date, venue

November 10, 2010 10:27 am 

TEHRAN, Nov. 10 — Iran proposed date and venue for the talks with the five UN Security Council permanent members and Germany (G5+1) on Tuesday and said that the country is "serious" and "honest" about it.

In an official letter to the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday, the content of which was not disclosed, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili delivered the country's suggestion on the venue and date for the talks with G5+1.

"In today (Tuesday)'s letter by the Head of the Office of Dr. Jalili, (also) secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to his counterpart lady Ashton's office, it has been announced … Iran's proposed date and place for talks," read a statement by the SNSC, a copy of which was obtained by the local satellite channel Press TV.

The statement did not disclose the details about the proposed date and venue of the upcoming talks between Iran and the G5+1, however, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday that the long-awaited talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany will most probably be held on Nov. 15.

"We have agreed on the venue for the negotiations, which is Turkey, and we are considering Nov. 15 as the date of the negotiations," Mottaki was quoted as saying by local Mehr news agency.

In October, European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in Brussels that Iran has announced readiness to resume talks over the nuclear program after Nov. 10, which had been suspended since October 2009 when the two sides met in Geneva.

Mottaki said that the country is "serious" and "honest" in the upcoming talks with the six major powers.

Talking to the reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran, Mottaki said that the G5+1 had better take a constructive approach in negotiations, too.

The Iranian minister expressed his hope that both sides could reach an agreement on the content of the talks soon.

Meanwhile, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman ruled out on Tuesday the possibility that Iran's upcoming talks with G5+1 will include nuclear fuel swap issue.

"By no means will our talks with the five UN Security Council permanent members and Germany … include nuclear fuel swap issue," Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by Mehr.

Iran's criteria for the nuclear fuel swap deal is Tehran Declaration, he added.

In a tripartite meeting in Tehran on May 17, Iran signed an agreement with Turkey and Brazil, dubbed Tehran Declaration, to endorse a fuel swap deal, in which Iran agreed to ship most of its low enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for the 20 percent uranium fuel needed for its Tehran research reactor.

Iran has reiterated that its potential upcoming talks with G5+1 will not only include the country's controversial nuclear issue, but should encompass diverse range of global issues which are of interests for both sides.

On Monday, the deputy permanent UN representative of Iran Es' haq Ale-Habib said at UN Genera Assembly that G5+1 must prove goodwill to Iranian side during the upcoming negotiations, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Es'haq Ale-Habib said that "Iran has always been ready for holding talks based on justice and mutual respect, just like the recent welcome by Iran for the west's suggestion to resume talks."

"It is now turn for the other side to prove its goodwill for holding a serious and successful negotiation," he was quoted as saying.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is resolute in defending its national right to benefit from peaceful nuclear energy," Ale-Habib said, adding "while respecting its international commitments, Iran would keep on spending efforts aimed at taking advantage of that energy source for fully peaceful purposes."

Western countries have called on Tehran to halt its sensitive nuclear program, but the country ruled out the calls and insisted that its nuclear activities aim at civilian purposes. (PNA/Xinhua)

DCT/ALM/ebp

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