Solana: Diplomatic settlement of Iran’s N. issue possible during Rouhani’s tenure

TEHRAN (FNA)- Former EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana expressed the hope that the standoff between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear program will be settled during President Hassan Rouhani’s tenure.

“Rouhani’s election heralds a new era for the nuclear negotiations and the two sides should understand the advantages of the new conditions and I believe that reaching an agreement and diplomatic solution is possible,” Solana said in an interview with Iran’s Sharq newspaper published on Sunday.

“We won’t have a long time. Neither the G5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) nor Iran has much time,” he added.

“Therefore, the best choice is that the two sides take the issue seriously,” Solana underlined.

In April, Iran and the G5+1 wrapped up two days and four rounds of intensive negotiations in Almaty after the delegations of the world powers demanded further consultations with their capitals.

The Iranian team was led by Iran’s top negotiator Saeed Jalili and the G5+1’s representatives were presided by EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.

Western media raised some speculations that the continuation of talks would depend on the presidential election in Iran, and that nothing substantial would take place under the conditions then.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, saying that renouncing its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would encourage the world powers to put further pressure on the country and would not lead to a change in the West’s hardline stance on Tehran.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down west’s calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment. The United States and the European Union have ratcheted up their sanctions on Iran this year to force it to curb its nuclear program.

Iranian officials have always shrugged off the sanctions, saying that pressures make them strong and reinvigorate their resolve to further move towards self-sufficiency.

By Fars News Agency

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