Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reaffirmed Tehran’s intention to resume talks with the P5+1 group of world powers in view of a solution to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue.
“Ms. [Catherine] Ashton contacted me and expressed her desire for the resumption of talks between Iran and the P5+1. In response…, I reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is willing to resume talks,” Zarif said on Monday.
Ashton, who is the European Union foreign policy chief, is representing the P5+1 -- United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany -- in their nuclear talks with Iran.
“In the phone conversation, I told Ms. Ashton that we favor a solution instead of merely engaging in talks,” Zarif added.
According to a statement by Ashton’s spokesperson, the EU foreign policy chief “underlined her continued determination and commitment to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue,” during her conversation with Zarif.
Ashton expressed the P5+1’s preparedness “to work with the new Iranian negotiating team as soon as they were appointed.”
Iran and the P5+1 group have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues, with the main focus being on Iran’s nuclear energy program.
The two sides wrapped up their latest round of negotiations on April 6 in the Kazakh city of Almaty. An earlier meeting had been held in the city on February 26-27.
The US, Israel and some of their allies falsely claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Washington and the European Union using the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran.
Tehran strongly rejects the groundless claim over its nuclear activities, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.