Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says no new date or venue has been set for the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US plus Germany. “No agreement has been reached on the exact date or venue [for talks] as of yet. Of course, consultations are going on and we hope to reach an agreement on this as soon as possible,” Salehi said in a joint press conference with his Omani counterpart Yousef bin Alawi on Wednesday. The Iranian foreign minister also rejected Western media reports about talks being held in Kazakhstan in late February. In response to a question regarding Western accusations that Iran is stalling the talks, Salehi stated that the time and venue for the talks are usually set after negotiations between representatives of both sides and it’s natural for the two parties to have different suggestions. Salehi noted that Iran has never wanted talks to be halted and has always insisted on their continuation.
“Unfortunately, using their media power, they (West) are trying to make [the world] believe that Iran is the one running from negotiations, which is in fact not true,” he added.Iran and the P5+1 have held several rounds of talks, the last of which was held in Moscow in June, 2012. The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran has rejected the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. PG/HGH/SS