Thursday Oct 03, 201308:46 PM GMT
Iran FM, UN chief discuss Tehran’s N-program, Syria
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) shakes hands with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during their second meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on October 2, 2013.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) shakes hands with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during their second meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on October 2, 2013.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the UN chief have discussed Iran’s nuclear energy program and the Syrian crisis during a meeting in New York City.


Zarif held talks with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday, their second meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Ban welcomed Tehran’s cooperation and hailed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s address at the UN General Assembly on September 24.

The UN chief "welcomed the generally favorable impressions and messages that had been conveyed in recent days," Ban's press office said in a statement.

In his address to the UN, Rouhani said Iran poses no threat to the world and Tehran is ready for talks on its nuclear energy program with complete transparency.

He stated that the Iranian nuclear energy program has always been a peaceful one, saying, "This has been, and will always be, the objective of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

He also urged Washington to reject "the shortsighted interest of warmongering pressure groups” to manage differences with Tehran.

Ban also briefed the Iranian minister on the “speedy” deployment of the joint United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission to Syria on chemical weapons.

Washington had threatened to take military action against Syria over an unsubstantiated claim that the Syrian government had been behind a deadly chemical attack on militant positions near Damascus on August 21.

Syria categorically rejected the allegation, saying the "false-flag operation" was carried out by the foreign-backed militants to draw in military intervention.

In September, Damascus averted a likely US strike on the violence-wracked country by agreeing to a Russian proposal to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international control.

Ban had earlier met with Zarif on September 19. The Iranian minister accompanied Rouhani at the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

MRS/AS/MHB
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