Annan Describes Talks with Iranian Officials as "Constructive"
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he had "constructive" talks with senior Iranian officials over the regional and international issues.
Annan, who is in Tehran heading a delegation from the group The Elders, told reporters that he had constructive meetings with Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday.
He said the purpose of the delegation’s visit is to meet and exchange views with Iranian leaders about the region’s problems.
“We are looking forward to hear the Iranian leaders’ recommendations for easing tensions at the regional and international levels,” Annan stated.
Syria has also been on Annan’s agenda in his meetings in Tehran. “All of us and our Iranian hosts are concerned about the regrettable situation in Syria,” he said, adding that “the interests of the Syrian people should be our priority.”
Annan arrived in Tehran on Sunday along with three other members of The Elders. Former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, and retired South African Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu accompany Annan in the three-day visit.
The Elders is an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. They were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela.
Annan said that since its foundation, The Elders has striven to resolve global issues like the problems in Sudan and North Korea.
Elsewhere, he hailed the Geneva nuclear deal signed between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) and urged efforts to continue until the final agreement is reached.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1 or E3+3) on November 24, 2013, signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva after several rounds of tight negotiations.
Based on the interim deal, which has taken effect since January 20, the world powers agreed to suspend some non-essential sanctions and to impose no new nuclear-related bans in return for Tehran's decision to suspend its 20% enrichment for a period of six months.