'US stance on Iran nuclear program discouraging'

'US stance on Iran nuclear program discouraging'
Tue May 14, 2013 17:12:56

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says recent remarks by US and UK officials to put more pressure on Iran over its nuclear program are “discouraging” to continuation of the talks between Iran and P5+1.

Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry’s newly-appointed spokesman Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said, “Such remarks about continuing pressure on Iran are discouraging and indicate the lack of a realistic view and the right understanding of reality by those who advocate these pressures.”


During their joint press conference in Washington on Monday, Obama said the two sides had “discussed Iran, where we agreed to keep up the pressure on Tehran for its continued failure to abide by its nuclear obligations.”


Araqchi said the policy of pressure had never been effective, adding that purposeful negotiations made with goodwill were the only way to achieve a solution to the Western standoff over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.


He said, “Iran’s proposals during the second round of the talks in Almaty were very constructive, balanced, and proportionate; and we expect the other side to react positively and favorably.”


He further said that Iran is now expecting a response from EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton - who represents the P5+1 - and is hoping for a constructive approach toward the proposals of the Islamic Republic.


Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili is due to hold bilateral talks with Ashton on May 15 in the Turkish city of Istanbul. The meeting will be a follow-up to the last round of negotiations held in Almaty.


Araqchi added that any progress in the negotiations requires taking “mutual, balanced, simultaneous and congruent steps.”


Commenting on the recent request by the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano to dispatch a team of experts to Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Araqchi said Iran will cooperate with the IAEA “within the framework of agreements.”


Speaking on crisis in Syria, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman welcomed Egypt’s proposal on forming a quartet on Syria and voiced the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help resolve the crisis in the Arab country.


During a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca in August 2012, Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi presented an initiative to establish a contact group on Syria comprising Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.


Araqchi expressed satisfaction with the fact that different countries have turned to negotiations as the way to settle the Syrian conflict.


“Currently, the inclination toward resolving [Syria’s] crisis through political means and nationwide dialogue between the oppositionists, the Syrian government and influential countries is on the rise,” he said.

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