Iran not interested in talks with U.S. beyond nuclear issue, says top Tehran official
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs said this week that Tehran is not interested in initiating more talks with the U.S. beyond the nuclear issue (File Archive/AFP)
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A top Iranian diplomat says bilateral talks with the United States are not on the agenda of the Islamic Republic, stressing that any talks with Washington will only be held about the nuclear issue.
“We have repeatedly announced publicly and privately that our talks with the US are only about the nuclear issue. Bilateral issues between the US and us (Iran) have their own complications,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi said on Tuesday.
“We currently neither have the authority nor intend to pursue bilateral issues,” Takht-e-Ravanchi, who is involved in Iran’s nuclear negotiations, added.
He emphasized that the US should prove its honesty "without greed and wasting time."
“[Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif explicitly announced that the Vienna negotiations have nothing to do with our defense issues and that the agenda for the Vienna talks are clear. Our focus is on the nuclear issue,” he said.
The Iranian diplomat reaffirmed Tehran’s commitment to its promises and noted that Iran would continue negotiations with goodwill.
“It is difficult to predict whether we will be able to reach an agreement within the next five months or not. But we are confident about ourselves,” Takht-e-Ravanchi said.
He pointed to issues which are “very important and sensitive” both for Iran and the P5+1 group and noted that Tehran has red lines which have been “clearly outlined” for the opposite side.
“No site will be closed in the country and no enriched material will be taken out the country,” the Iranian diplomat pointed out.
He further noted that European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s forthcoming visit to Iran is made as an EU official and not a representative of the six countries.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, China, France, Britain and the US -- plus Germany wrapped up their latest round of nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on February 20 and are set to meet again in the Austrian city on March 17 to continue their talks.
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