Iranian lawmaker views Baghdad talks as "Test of West"

Nuclear Program Materials 16 May 2012 16:53 (UTC +04:00)

A senior Iranian parliamentarian said that the upcoming talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) will test the western intentions, Fars reported.

"The West has recognized that the language of force and sanctions against Iran will not be effective, and is, actually, counterproductive and that diplomacy is the only option that the West has. In the same line, the G5+1 will face a test in (Baghdad) talks," member of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Zohreh Elahian told Fars on Wednesday.

"We should wait and see if the West will go after confidence-building and positive and constructive interactions or try to push the talks into a stalemate," Elahian underscored.

She further underscored that the next week talks between Tehran and the six world powers will be positive and constructive "if the G5+1 participate in the negotiations with a clear plan and strategy".

Iran and the six world powers resumed negotiations in Istanbul on April 14 after a year of stalled talks and are due to continue their negotiations in Iraq's capital city, Baghdad, on May 23.

Tehran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili headed the Iranian side, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton led the delegations of the world powers. Both Jalili and Ashton voiced satisfaction with the talks.

Iranian officials have expressed the hope that the positive trend of talks between Tehran and the six world powers in Istanbul would continue in Baghdad, and stressed that removal of sanctions should be the least result of the upcoming round of negotiations.

After two rounds of fruitful talks with the six world powers, Jalili said that withdrawing sanctions against Iran should be a focal point in any future talks on cooperation between Iran and the world powers.

"It is of crucial importance that our (future) cooperation will entail reciprocal steps, that is, our nation's trust should be built in the trend of talks and cooperation," Jalili told reporters at a press conference after the second meeting with the representatives of the G5+1 in Istanbul.

Edited by S. Isayev