World Bulletin/News Desk
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said sanctions aimed at penalizing Iran for its controversial nuclear program will stay in place until the Western powers reached an agreement with Tehran.
"The sanctions are costing the Iranian economy at least $4 billion a month. This cost will be retained until we reach an agreement. Until such a moment, there is no question of relaxing the pressure of sanctions in any way," Hague told lawmakers at the House of Commons on Monday.
A latest round of three-day-long talks in Geneva between Iran and the five UN Security Council members and Germany -- dubbed as P5+1 -- ended without a full agreement and the sides agreed to meet again for another round on November 20.
Hague said the Geneva talks were "complex and detailed discussions covering every aspect of Iran's nuclear program."
"Our aim is to create an interim first agreement with Iran that can create the space to negotiate a comprehensive final settlement," Hague said.
"An interim agreement with Iran would involve offering them proportionate sanctions relief. In the meantime, we will be vigilant in upholding the international sanctions which have played an indispensable part in creating this new opening with Iran."
"I can't go into the details yet, the gaps are narrow and many others were dredged all together during the negotiations. As we concluded the negotiations, all 6 foreign ministers [P5+1] presented the same united position to Iran which gives an extremely strong foundation for the next round of talks."
The British foreign secretary said he also had a bilateral meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, adding, "Today both our governments have formally appointed our charge d'affaires."
The British government named Ajay Sharma as the UK's non-resident charge d'affaires to Iran as of Monday meanwhile Iran appointed Mohammad Hassan Habibollah as the Islamic state's non-resident charge d'affaires in London.
Hague announced early October that Britain and Iran had agreed to appoint the diplomats as an "important step towards improving the bilateral relationship".
British and Iranian embassies have remained closed since 2011, when protesters in the Iranian capital stormed the British Embassy during a demonstration against British sanctions on Iran.
Hague said that they were determined to take every opportunity to reach a diplomatic settlement to the Iranian nuclear crisis.
"Because the alternatives, nuclear proliferation or conflict could be disastrous for the peace and security of the world, including the stability of the Middle East."Last Mod: 12 Kasım 2013, 09:21