Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (R) meets head of European Parliament’s delegation to Iran Hannes Swoboda on October 21, 2013.
The chairman of Iran's Expediency Council has urged the Western countries to prove their goodwill to Iran in the course of the ongoing diplomatic efforts to resolve the issues regarding Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
In a Monday meeting with the head of European Parliament’s (EP) delegation to Iran Hannes Swoboda, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani pointed to the developments in Iran following the June election of President Hassan Rouhani and added, “The West should prove its goodwill in [its] resolve to cooperate with Iran.”
Rafsanjani argued that Iran has never sought to acquire nuclear weapons; however, the country cannot ignore the historical rights of its present and next generations to peaceful nuclear energy for the sake of some governments and their baseless propaganda.
The EP delegation of socialist lawmakers arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a four-day visit, during which the European parliamentarians meet with high ranking Iranian officials.
Swoboda, for his part, pointed to the EP’s efforts to lift sanctions against Iran and noted that the first steps to achieve that goal has been taken during Iran’s recent nuclear talks with the world powers and if the negotiations are carried out based on goodwill the world will witness a better political atmosphere.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain -- plus Germany held two days of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program behind closed doors in the Swiss city of Geneva on October 15-16.
During a meeting on October 15, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif presented Iran’s proposal titled “Closing an Unnecessary Crisis, Opening a New Horizon” to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and the representatives of the six countries. The two sides agreed to keep the details of the proposal confidential for the time being.
Following the negotiations, Ashton lauded the talks as the most “detailed” and “substantive” ever between the two sides, describing Iran’s proposal as an “important contribution.”
Iran and the six powers have agreed to meet again in Geneva on November 7-8.