Iran Urges 'Serious' Nuclear Talks

Giving a written response to a Western incentives offer days before the proposed deadline, Iran reiterated on Tuesday, August 22, its readiness for talks with six world powers over its nuclear program.

Iran Urges 'Serious' Nuclear Talks

"Iran is ready for serious talks with the 5+1 group from August 23 over the offered package," its chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani told representatives of the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"We prepared the response to the package with a positive view and even tried to open a way for fair talks by interpreting the many cases of ambiguity logically and positively."

Larijani called on the world powers that backed the offer to "return to negotiations", reaffirming Tehran's readiness to "play its role as a responsible country".

The gist of the written Iranian response was not immediately made public.

Iranian Atomic Energy Organization deputy head Mohammad Saeedi said Monday, August 21, that Iran would "provide Europe with an exceptional chance for an understanding and a return to the negotiating table."

The six powers' proposal, which was originally submitted to Tehran in June, offers trade and technology incentives in return for a freeze on uranium enrichment, which can make the fuel for nuclear power stations or in extended form can produce the fissile core of an atom bomb.

The UN Security Council on Monday, July 31, gave Iran a deadline to halt its alleged nuclear activities by the end of August or face the threat of sanctions.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of using its nuclear program to hide a quest for atomic weapons.

Iran has repeatedly refuted the accusation, insisting that the sole aim of its program is to generate electricity and that it has the right to enrich uranium under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Careful Reading

In the first Western comment, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the Iranian response needs a careful look.

"The document was extensive and therefore requires a detailed and careful analysis," Solana said in a statement.

"I will be in contact with the different key interlocutors and will remain in open contact with Dr. Ali Larijani."

EU officials declined to give any details of the content of Iran's confidential, over 20-page document.

The United States said it would study Iran's response carefully but added that it was ready to move ahead quickly in seeking UN enforcement action if Tehran did not suspend nuclear activities,

"We will obviously study the Iranian response carefully," US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told reporters in New York.

"But we are also prepared, if it does not meet the terms set to proceed here in the Security Council... with economic sanctions.

"I think we will be prepared to submit elements of a resolution in the Council very quickly," he said.

But a Chinese official said Beijing opposed sanctions.

"We have all along stood for a peaceful settlement of the issue through negotiations, rather than resorting to force or threatening sanctions," said Sun Bigan, special envoy to the Middle East.

"Resorting to force and sanctions cannot fully solve the problems."

With the threat of sanctions looming large, and bellicose warnings from the US, Iran has been showing off its military muscle during war games this week to demonstrate its readiness to "respond to any threat."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16