Iran urges fairness in nuclear talks
As the major world powers call for an "early negotiated solution" to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, Tehran reiterates that only fair talks will succeed.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in New York on Wednesday that only objective talks, recognizing Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful applications, would likely bear fruit, Press TV reported.
Mottaki once again voiced Iran's readiness to hold talks with the Vienna Group, consisting of the US, France, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the P5+1 group, which include Russia, China, Britain, France, the US and Germany.
He pointed to Iran's diplomatic efforts towards reaching an acceptable nuclear fuel swap deal for the Tehran research reactor and said, "Iran issued the Tehran Declaration with Turkey and Brazil and cooperated with the IAEA to demonstrate its flexibility in a fuel swap agreement."
However, nuclear sides pushed the UN Security Council (UNSC) to impose Resolution 1929 in response to Iran's extensive cooperation, Mottaki observed.
Iran, Brazil and Turkey issued a joint fuel swap declaration on May 17, based on which Tehran agreed to exchange 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium on Turkish soil with fuel for its Tehran research reactor.
Iran has criticized the UNSC sanctions, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and an IAEA member, it has every right to pursue and benefit from nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The Islamic Republic announced its readiness to resume talks on its nuclear program in September, but reiterated that any negotiation must be conducted within the framework of the May 17 declaration.
The Chinese foreign minister, whose country is a UNSC veto-wielding member, welcomed the Tehran Declaration and praised the Islamic Republic's readiness to hold nuclear talks.
In another development, Mottaki held talks with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, during which the Iranian official denounced the Western approach to Iran's inalienable right to peaceful nuclear energy, in line with the NPT.
Mottaki expressed regret that the West did not give a befitting response to the Tehran Declaration, which prepared the ground for a reasonable fuel swap deal.
Frattini agreed that all countries should have the right to utilize peaceful nuclear energy as the "clean energy."
Meanwhile, Mottaki and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held separate talks on issues of mutual concern as well as regional developments.
The Iranian minister expressed Iran's readiness to dispatch more humanitarian aid to the flood-stricken Pakistan. The floods have affected 21 million people, left hundreds dead and 12 million in need of emergency food aid.
Mottaki also emphasized on the importance of adopting more measures by regional countries to help Afghanistan restore peace and stability.
Qureshi said Pakistan endorsed Iran's right to use nuclear energy for civilian aims and added that the standoff over Iran's nuclear program should be resolved through negotiations.