An Iranian deputy foreign minister says the Islamic Republic is open to talks about the country’s nuclear energy program with the world powers should they show goodwill. Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Asia-Pacific affairs, said on Tuesday that Tehran has already handed its package of proposals to the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US plus Germany) and is waiting for their response.
“Our proposals to the P5+1 are clear and they should respond to us. If they show goodwill, the way is open to talks and to prove their goodwill they can start with the steps we have already said,” he added.Araqchi also stated that Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are to hold talks in Tehran on Thursday to define a framework and modalities for cooperation. “We have already said that the framework of cooperation should be defined, inspections and cooperation beyond our obligations to the IAEA should be clarified,” he stated. Iran and the P5+1 have held several rounds of multifaceted talks mainly focused on Tehran’s nuclear energy program. Iran has repeatedly voiced its readiness for negotiations based on mutual respect while maintaining that it will not give up its inalienable rights under any circumstances. The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran argues that as a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. KA/SS/IS