Iran urges ‘honesty’ in nuclear talksAgence France-Presse . Tehran
Iran on Monday urged ‘honesty’ at crucial talks with world powers due to be held this week in order to defuse a tense international showdown over its nuclear activities.
‘We hope the P5+1 will come to the negotiating table with honesty, and we also will make an honest effort so that both sides reach a win-win conclusion,’ foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the Iranian parliament’s website.
Salehi warned the P5+1 group -- consisting of UN Security Council members the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China, plus Germany -- should not try to impose conditions on the talks before they begin on Saturday in Istanbul.
The aim was that ‘Iran gain its rights and the P5+1 have its stated concerns alleviated’ over Tehran’s nuclear programme, he said.
Salehi rejected a weekend report in The New York Times newspaper quoting unnamed US and EU diplomats as saying the West was going into the talks with demands that Iran close an underground nuclear bunker in Fordo, and that it halt enriching uranium to 20 per cent.
‘Those (demands) have been raised only by the media and we cannot make a judgment based on them,’ Salehi said.
‘Putting forward preconditions before the meeting happens is equivalent to reaching a conclusion before the negotiations start. It is completely meaningless. No one will accept preconditions before the talks,’ he added.
The office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is representing the P5+1, on Monday confirmed that ‘we have agreed to launch talks in Istanbul on April 14.’
Spokesman Michael Mann added: ‘We hope that this first round will produce a conducive environment for concrete progress.’
Iran’s last talks with the P5+1 powers were also held in Istanbul, in January 2011, and ended in failure.
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