GENEVA: Talks between world powers and Iran on its controversial nuclear programme could herald a shift in Tehran’s ties, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said yesterday.
“We hope that this is a beginning of a new phase in our relations,” Zarif told reporters in Geneva after wrapping up two days of negotiations that yielded a deal to meet again on November 7 and 8.
Zarif said that the talks with the European Union-chair P5+1 group — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany — had been “extensive and fruitful” and that they had “exhibited the necessary political will to move the process forward”.
Tehran vehemently denies international claims that it is seeking to develop atomic weapons, insisting that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, and on Tuesday made what it dubbed a breakthrough proposal to end the decade-long standoff. “We will not back down on our rights,” Zarif said.
“At the same time we feel there is no need for concerns about our nuclear programme... It is logical to remove any concerns though,” he added.
“I am hopeful that we can reach the mutual objectives,” he said, while underlining that “the detailed part is the most difficult part”. “We need to take reciprocal steps, but this is a very important test in our eyes for the 5+1 to win back the trust of Iran. I believe an important step was taken in this round.”AFP