Ashton’s deputy: Iran has taken new approach in N. talks

TEHRAN (ISNA)- Deputy to Catherine Ashton, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy Pierre Vimont said Iran has adopted a new approach in nuclear talks.

“A new tone, but not a new course,” Vimont, executive secretary general of the European External Action Service (EEAS) of the European Union said as describing the latest round of discussions with Iran. 

Recently interviewed in Brussels, Vimont, who is in charge of developing a common external policy for the member states of the European Union (EU), looks back on the discussions that took place Oct. 15–16 in Geneva with Iran, describes the role of the EU in Syria and shares his feelings on the evolution of the situation in Egypt. He provides a clear synthesis of the major actions undertaken at the EU level to address the critical challenges of these three important Middle Eastern countries.

A summary of his interview with al-Monitor news website on Iran comes as follow:

Vimont: The new round of discussions that took place in Geneva on Oct. 15 and 16 between the P5+1 group and an Iranian delegation led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was the first encounter of its kind after the election of President Hassan Rouhani and the setting up of the new Iranian government. It constituted therefore the first opportunity to check whether a new course was emerging in the context of what have been so far very difficult and arduous talks on the Iranian nuclear program.

The new Iranian negotiators have undoubtedly adopted a new approach, but it is still rather difficult to conclude that they have presented a new policy. The Iranian team has definitely decided to go for a very proactive diplomacy, but whether this will pave the way to major concessions on the substance of these talks remains to be seen.

So far, the Iranian side has made a rather comprehensive presentation combining what could be seen as the endgame of the present talks and, at the same time, what can be depicted as the first mutual moves that both sides could agree on in an effort to engage in some confidence-building measures.

Such a demarche represents a change when compared to the usual trend of the previous rounds of negotiation, where the Iranian side never really showed much willingness to get involved in a genuine discussion on the substance of their nuclear program. In Geneva, the attitude was different, and all delegations saw the change of mood in the representatives of the Iranian government.

By ISNA

 

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