Hopes abound over Iran nuclear talks

Geneva, Oct 15 (IANS) The European Union Tuesday expressed the hope that the two-day talks between Iran and the P5+1 over Iran\'s controversial nuclear programme would be \"productive\", and Tehran would engage \"constructively\".

Published: 15th October 2013 06:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th October 2013 06:32 PM   |  A+A-

The European Union Tuesday expressed the hope that the two-day talks between Iran and the P5+1 over Iran's controversial nuclear programme would be "productive", and Tehran would engage "constructively".

Michael Mann, spokesperson of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, who represents the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany) in the talks with Iran, told a press conference after the beginning of the talks Tuesday morning held in the Palace of Nations in Geneva that they hope Iran would come up with constructive and concrete proposals and looked forward very much to seeing ideas put forth by Iran, Xinhua reported.

"We hope we will have two very productive days, and it will be an opportunity to explore both the proposals we have put on the table which address our concerns and also the ideas that come from Iran," Mann said.

"We have come here with cautious optimism but a real sense of determination because we believe it is really time now for tangible results," he added, having noted that they are, on their side, ambitious to move forward quickly.

"We want Iran to engage constructively with the proposals that we have put forward, or if they want to, they can come up with their own proposals. What matters is the end result that they address the international community's concerns about the purely peaceful nature of Iranian nuclear programme."

Though Mann did not lay out the content of Iran's proposals, he said that they have seen some positive signals coming out of Tehran, and Iran has expressed its willingness to engage with the international community, which is a good sign.

He then noted that the most important thing was that the Iranians actually follow that up with concrete proposals, and "how things progress would very much depend on what are the Iranians are proposing, whether they start to address our concerns".

Earlier a source in the Iranian delegation told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS that his country put forth to the international mediators absolutely "new proposals" for the resolution of the situation over the country's nuclear programme.

"This is absolutely new proposals and a new plan," he said.

"These proposals should not be linked with what had happened at the previous rounds of talks," the diplomatic source added.

These proposals envisage "the end to the unnecessary crisis and the opening of new horizons", the source told ITAR-TASS.

Tehran hopes to resolve completely with the international community the situation over the country's nuclear programme within a year at most.

According to the source, the updated plan envisages gradual resolution of the problem.

"Within six months, a year at most, it is possible to make the problem absolutely not acute and pass it for debates exclusively within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," he said.

Mann in his press conference also said that Catherine Ashton had dinner with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif Monday night to discuss the arrangements for Tuesday's discussions, and the dinner was held in a very positive atmosphere.

While Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov is representing Russia, the US is being represented by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.

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