World Bulletin/News Desk
A new round of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program will be held in Istanbul on Wednesday between Iran and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) permanent members plus Germany, dubbed "P5+1," as meetings between the parties enter the tenth year.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council & Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, will meet in Istanbul for the talks.
Iran, a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) signed 45 years ago, insists on gaining recognition for its right to produce nuclear energy. On the other hand, UNSC members, the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain, as well as Germany, want Iran to limit the percentage and amount of its uranium enrichment and subsequently suspend its efforts altogether.
The negotiations between Iran and a group called "EU3" comprising Germany, France and Britain started in 2003, when EU3 countries proposed that Iran shall terminate its enrichment program and engage in cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran claims that it then waived some of its rights unilaterally, but the other party was not determined in close cooperation.
"We stopped enriching uranium for a while, but we did not see the proof for the other party's commitment," Alireza Bigdeli, Iran's Ambassador to Ankara, told Turkish press. "When they chose instead to try to put more pressure on Iran, this led to a delay in the negotiations."
The United States, China and Russia joined the EU3 in 2006, increasing the number of countries Iran has to negotiate with. The new group, which came to be called P5+1, has held numerous meetings with Iran since 2008. The meetings were hosted three times in Geneva, twice in Istanbul and Almaty, and once in Baghdad and Moscow.
Bigdeli said they expected the negotiations to continue for enhanced dialogue and cooperation.
"Iran attaches importance to two basic issues: The first is the recognition of rights NPT granted us. The second is for the other party to abandon its hostile attitude towards Iran's nuclear program," Bigdeli said, adding, "if we can determine the right framework, it would not be difficult to agree on technical details and content."
Ambassador Bidgeli said in addition to the use of nuclear power in generating energy, its applications in fields of medicine and agriculture were also being researched, adding that 800,000 people in Iran were using nuclear medicine products.
"The nuclear right of the Iranian people is a national issue," Bigdeli said, adding, "the Iranian people are aware of their rights and will protect them with all their strength."
The issue of nuclear power in Iran will continue to be high on the national agenda going into next month's presidential elections, Bigdeli said.Last Mod: 14 Mayıs 2013, 17:03