Iran pressed to give new proposals on nuclear program

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iran to present new nuclear proposals on Monday, rebuffing Tehran’s position that foreign powers are blocking the impasse.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that the previous foreign offer, made by the “P5+1” group at two meetings in Kazakhstan before the June election of moderate President Hassan Rowhani, was no longer valid, Agence France-Presse reported.

While welcoming the recent diplomatic rapprochement, Kerry said the ball remained in Iran’s court.

“The group of six put a proposal on the table at Almaty and I don't believe as of yet Iran has fully responded to that particular proposal. So I think we are waiting the fullness of the Iranian difference in their approach now,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.

“So what we need are a set of proposals from Iran that will fully disclose how they will show the world that their program is peaceful.”

The proposals made in Kazakhstan required the suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment at the 20 percent level it says it needs for a medical research reactor, and to halt enrichment at its underground plant at Fordo near the central city of Qom.

A new round of talks are due in mid-October in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1, which comprises of the five U.N. Security Council permanent members, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

The talks will be the first formal talks between the U.S. and Iran since a phone call last month between Rowhani and President Barack Obama, the first direct contact between presidents of the two countries since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

“We are encouraged by the outreach,” Kerry said, according to AFP, but stressed that actions will make the difference.

(With AFP)