Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says Switzerland and Kazakhstan have also expressed their readiness to host the next round of the multifaceted talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers. The Iranian foreign minister added Iran and the P5+1 were discussing the resumption of the talks. Salehi made the remarks during a press conference in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the 20th African Union (AU) Summit on Sunday. Earlier, Salehi said Egypt had welcomed Tehran’s proposal for Cairo to host the next round of the talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1. Iran and the P5+1 - comprising Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany - have held several rounds of talks with a focus on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The last round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 was held in Moscow in June, 2012. On January 25, European Union deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid called for the postponement of the next round of Iran-P5+1 talks to February, saying the six major world powers were not ready to negotiate with the Islamic Republic this month.
Tehran has announced that it welcomes the readiness of the six major world powers to hold constructive talks with Iran.The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran has categorically rejected the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear program has been diverted toward military objectives. MP/HMV/HJL