TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An official close to Iran’s team of nuclear negotiators said the election of a new president in the country and major regional and international developments have given rise to a totally different atmosphere for talks with the major world powers on Iran’s nuclear program.
“Following the Iranian presidential election and major developments in the region and the world the atmosphere for negotiations between Iran and the Group of 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) has completely changed, and these talks can move on the previous track neither in form nor in content,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
“This is a new game which will have its new rules and is aimed at reaching a shared stance that would please both sides,” he said. “New perceptual frameworks and operational attitudes need to be defined to bring about a win-win result. So expressions such as ‘the ball is in someone’s court’ do not apply any longer.”
The official emphasized that even the slightest bit of the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation cannot be ignored, reiterating that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would in his today’s meeting with the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton inform her of the viewpoints of the new Iranian government and its talks agenda.
The new Iranian team for nuclear talks with the G5+1 is headed by Foreign Minister Zarif and includes Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, and Senior Presidential Adviser Hamid Reza Hamidzadeh.
Ashton represents the G5+1 – comprising five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
In a phone conversation with Iran’s new Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last month, Ashton said the group was ready to resume negotiations with Iran as soon as the administration of President Hassan Rouhani appoints the country’s negotiating team.
The Iranian president has officially assigned the Foreign Ministry to take charge of future nuclear talks with the G5+1.
The negotiations were previously conducted by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).
Iran and the G5+1 have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues, with the main focus being on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
The two sides wrapped up their latest round of negotiations in April in the Kazakh city of Almaty. An earlier meeting had been held in Almaty in February.
The US, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran has categorically rejected the allegations, saying that its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful and in line with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory.
Meanwhile, numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency have never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been diverted toward non-civilian purposes.
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