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Iran Willing to Resume Talks with P5+1

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reaffirmed Tehran’s intention to resume talks with the P5+1 group of world powers in view of a solution to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue.

“Ms. Catherine Ashton contacted me and expressed her desire for the resumption of talks between Iran and the P5+1. In response…, I reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is willing to resume talks,” Zarif said.

“In the phone conversation, I told Ms. Ashton that we favor a solution instead of merely engaging in talks,” Zarif added.

According to a statement by Ashton’s spokesperson, the EU foreign policy chief “underlined her continued determination and commitment to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue,” during her conversation with Zarif. 

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also said the newly-released documents on US involvement in a 1953 coup against a popular Iranian government reveal no previously-unknown information and do nothing to fade Washington’s crimes.

Abbas Araqchi said that the release of the recent documents 60 years after the coup “neither adds anything new to what we already knew, nor does it lessen the American crimes.”

The Iranian official noted that the declassified documents do not belong to the Central American Agency (CIA) - contrary to what has been claimed - and that Iran expects the American spy agency to release its actual documents on the issue.

Araqchi also underlined the British role in the 1953 coup and noted that although the coup of August 19, 1953 is generally viewed as an American ploy, we should not lose sight of Britain’s behind-the-scene role in planning the coup and the subsequent violence and hostility it perpetrated against Iran prior to and in the course of the coup.

Commenting on the future of Iran's comprehensive talks with the P5+1 group of countries and whether the talks will be handled by Iran's Foreign Ministry or Supreme Council of National Security, Araqchi said that, regardless of which body would pursue the negotiations, Iran’s principles on its nuclear energy issue will remain unchanged.

He further noted that President Hassan Rouhani has not yet decided which of the aforementioned bodies will undertake the task of the negotiations with the P5+1.

Regarding the reports about the “reduction of Iranian nuclear reserves” in the run-up to the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1, Araqchi stated that the rate of Iranian nuclear production and reserves will be based on our needs and consumption in the field of energy and other fields such as agriculture and medicine and is not a political issue.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also censured the move by Baghdad to intercept Iranian airplanes heading to other countries via Iraq, saying such an action was an “unfriendly move” inconsistent with neighborly ties.

Araqchi said Tehran has expressed its objection to the Iraqi government over the issue.

However, he added that Tehran understands that pressure is being exerted on the Iraqi government.

“Although the Iraqi move to intercept Iranian planes was illegal and unfriendly, we are glad that it at least belied the claims” against Iran, as “nothing was found on any of the intercepted planes but humanitarian and medical aid,” Araqchi said.

Commenting on the turmoil in Syria, Araqchi said UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi had contacted Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss the issue. 

Araqchi added that Zarif had reiterated Iran’s readiness to cooperate with the UN and Brahimi himself in order to resolve the crisis.

According to Araqchi, Brahimi stressed Iran’s influential role in the region particularly with regards to Syria, reiterating the necessity of Tehran’s presence in international meetings over Syria and the upcoming Geneva conference.

Regarding Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in southern Iran, Araqchi said it will most likely be ready for full function and be inaugurated within the next several weeks.

He reiterated, however, that the plant has long been producing electricity while undergoing experimental stages, which is a common practice that takes place at nuclear power plants from the time when their construction is completed by the contractor to when their handling is entirely relayed to the possessor country.

The Foreign Ministry official described the Bushehr NPP as a case jointly handled by Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency and the Foreign Ministry, adding that it has been one of the nation’s key foreign policy issues in the past 20 years.

Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesman has also condemned the death of Iranian filmmaker Hadi Baghbani by foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

“The responsibility for the martyrdom of this Iranian journalist and documentarist falls on the countries that supply money and arms to armed groups in Syria and encourage them to massacre Syrian people and foreign nationals in this country,” Araqchi said.

Araqchi further called on the international community to follow up on Baghbani’s death and fulfill its duty of protecting journalists and filmmakers working in critical conditions.

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