Iran President Rouhani, FM Zarif meet with EU’s Ashton

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherin Ashton

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have met with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in New York.

The meeting took place on Thursday ahead of the upcoming foreign ministerial talks between Iran and six major powers – the US, the UK, France, China, and Russia plus Germany – which is scheduled to be held at 4:00 p.m. local time (2000 GMT).

The meeting, which is to be held on the sidelines of the 68th annual session of the UN General Assembly, will focus on Iran’s nuclear energy program. It will also mark the highest-level of direct contact between Tehran and Washington in six years.

Ahead of the talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he looks forward to a “good meeting on Thursday.”

Zarif on Wednesday expressed hope that his counterparts have the same political will as the Islamic Republic to hold “serious” negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

The latest round of the talks between Tehran and the six powers was held in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 26 and 27.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and European Union using the claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran.

Iran has categorically rejected the allegation, stressing that as a committed member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

By Press TV


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