Iranian FM: major powers must table new nuclear proposals

The previous offer proposed by major powers on Tehran’s nuclear program is no longer valid, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. (File photo: AFP)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Sunday for new proposals from the major powers in talks on its nuclear program that are due to resume on October 15.

Zarif said that the previous offer, made by the so-called P5+1 group at two meetings in Kazakhstan in February and April before President Hassan Rowhani’s June election was no longer valid.

“The previous offer by the P5+1 is history and they should come to the negotiating table with a new approach,” the ISNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying.

Those proposals required Iran to suspend enrichment of uranium to the 20 percent level it says it needs for a medical research reactor and halt enrichment at its underground plant at Fordo near the central city of Qom.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the six powers in the talks, said on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly late last month that she was still waiting for Iran’s response to those previous proposals.

After talks with foreign ministers of the six powers in New York on September 27, Zarif said he hoped a deal could be reached within a year to allay international concerns about Iran’s ambitions.

On Sunday, he renewed his insistence that a deal could be reached to address the concerns of both sides.

“Our goal is to master peaceful nuclear energy, including uranium enrichment on our soil,” he said.

“Their goal is to keep Iran’s nuclear program peaceful forever. We should find a way to achieve both goals at the same time.”

The P5+1 comprises the five U.N. Security Council permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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