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EU Refrains from Holding Talks with Iran

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, May 12 (ICANA) – Although Iran welcomes talks with major world powers (P5+1), Foreign policy chief of the European Union (EU) Catherine Ashton refrains from holding multifaceted negotiations with Tehran.
Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:26:37 PM
EU Refrains from Holding Talks with Iran

Ashton pointed to a recent letter by Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili and said, “On its own, Dr Jalili's letter does not contain anything new and does not seem to justify a further meeting."

In his letter on Tuesday, the SNSC secretary welcomed talks with the P5+1 based on common grounds and in a pressure-free atmosphere.

"I welcome your return to talks for cooperation on common grounds," said the top Iranian nuclear negotiator in response to an earlier letter by Ashton, according to Press TV.

Jalili described "respect for nations' rights and avoidance of pressure" as two very basic principles for cooperation, reiterating that the will of nations will finally overcome hegemonic relations in the word order.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that while the P5+1 were studying Jalili's letter, "We've also been very candid in saying that unless there's a reason to meet, we shouldn't meet."

Iran and the P5+1 -- Britain , China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany -- held two rounds of multifaceted talks in Geneva in December 2010 and in the Turkish city of Istanbul last January.

In a letter sent to Iran in early February following the January talks in Istanbul, Ashton reiterated the group's position on Iran's nuclear program but also affirmed that the world powers were keen to continue talks with the Islamic Republic without any preconditions.

The US and its allies, who accuse Iran of developing a military nuclear program, used this as a pretext to pressure the UN Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran's financial and military sectors in June, 2010.

Iranian officials have vehemently denied the charges, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tehran has a right to peaceful nuclear technology.

Tehran has repeatedly announced that sanctions imposed on the country have failed to impede the Iranian nation's progress. The Islamic Republic has continued to move on the path to development and progress and succeeded to achieve self-sufficiency in various fields, including gasoline production.

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