Iran ready to hold N-talks with no pre-conditions: deputy foreign minister

Iran Materials 23 December 2006 11:21 (UTC +04:00)

(IRNA) - Iran on Saturday expressed readiness to hold talks to resolve the dispute over its peaceful nuclear case without pre-conditions or pressure.

Visiting Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister for Europe and American Affairs Saeed Jalili, who is currently on a visit to Switzerland, expressed Tehran's readiness at a meeting with the Swiss Federal State Secretary and Department of Foreign Affairs Political Director Michael Ambuhl.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed latest developments in the Iran nuclear issue, avenues for bolstering bilateral relations as well as leading regional and international issues, reports Trend.

Jalili explained briefly Iran's continuing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the results of nuclear talks held between Tehran and Europe in recent months, and reminded that "no meaningful negotiations can be held in an atmosphere shrouded with insinuations by certain Western figures of a need to effect a regime change in Iran."

Referring to the three elections held simultaneously on December 15, he said that once again the "Islamic Republic of Iran demonstrated that it is a big and unique democracy in the region." "The realization of Iran's great democratic potentials have led to trengthening of national power," Jalali said.

Elections for members of the 4th Assembly of Experts and local councils were held simultaneously in 63,377 polling stations across the country on December 15.

The 7th Majlis also held its second by-elections in three constituencies -- Tehran, Rey, Shemiranat and Eslamshahr (taken as one), Bam and Ahvaz.

Twenty-eight million voters came out to vote. Turn-out was placed at over 60 percent.

The Iranian official, alluding to the disturbing developments in the region, said that the continued presence of foreign occupiers in regional states has caused instability and jeopardized innocent lives.

The Swiss official, for his part, appreciated the similarity in stances of Tehran and Bern on several issues affecting the region, and added that his country attaches special importance to its ties with Tehran.

He called for bolstering of relations with Iran in the political and economic fields.

He said Switzerland opposes the unilateral policies of certain states that has encouraged extremism, and stressed the need to use peaceful means of settling international issues as well as respect for human rights.

The Swiss official called for negotiations to peacefully resolve the Iran nuclear issue.