Iranian N. Negotiators Leave Tehran for Europe
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Senior Iranian diplomats, led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left the country to hold a fresh round of nuclear talks with the six major world powers in Switzerland, with a short stopover in the Italian capital of Rome.
Top diplomats representing Iran and the G5+1, also known as P5+1, which includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council --Russia, China, the US, Britain and France-- as well as Germany are to meet in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 20 to once again discuss Iran's nuclear program.
The team of Iranian negotiators includes Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, Foreign Ministry's Director-General for the Economic and Specialized International Affairs Hamid Ba'eedinejad, Foreign Minister's Legal Adviser Davoud Mohammadnia, and Mohammad Amiri from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
The Iranian delegation’s first destination before flying to Geneva is the Italian capital of Rome.
In his stay in Rome, Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif is expected to hold talks with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, on a range of issues including bilateral ties, regional developments and Iran's peaceful nuclear program.
Zarif’s visit to Italy was previously slated to take place on November 7, when the second round of nuclear talks between Iran and the G5+1 was underway in Geneva. But his tight schedule at the talks had prevented him from making that trip to Rome.
The Iranian foreign minister will also attend a luncheon with the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton tomorrow in Geneva, to conduct direct negotiations with the European top representative over Tehran’s nuclear case.
During the previous round of talks between Tehran and the six major world powers earlier this month, the two sides managed to narrow their differences on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, though there were hitches that stopped them from reaching an interim deal at the end of the talks.
In remarks ahead of the new round of nuclear negotiations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the latest round of talks had made good progress, but added that unjustified demands could obstruct the path to a win-win agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
“Good progress had been made in the recent talks (between Iran and the G5+1), but everybody should notice that excessive demands could complicate the process towards a win-win agreement,” Rouhani said in telephone conversation with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on November 18.
And in relevant remarks, Zarif had announced on November 15 that any possible nuclear deal should be palatable to Iran and recognize the undeniable rights of the Iranian nation.
“The point is that not any kind of agreement will have any chance to succeed if it fails to take into account Iran’s consent, does not recognize the Iranian people’s rights and is not based on mutual respect,” the foreign minister said.
Zarif has also said Tehran expects the six major world powers to “respect” its right to enrich uranium based on the regulations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Iran enrichment right has no need to be recognized because it is an indivisible right based on the NPT. What we expect is respect for the components of Iran's right,” Zarif said on Sunday.
The top Iranian diplomat stressed that enrichment is a “non-negotiable” right and urged all countries to respect it.