UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Larijani heads to Turkey for talks with Solana

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, April 25, IRNA
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani left here for Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday morning to hold talks with the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana.

Larijani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), is being accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, SNSC deputy secretary for International Affairs Javad Vaeedi and Deputy Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) for International Affairs Mohammad Saeedi.

In addition to holding talks with Solana, Larijani is expected to meet separately with senior Turkish officials including President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Teyyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

The date of the talks, April 25, was set during a Larijani-Solana phone conversation on April 19.

The pair have had several phone contacts since their last meeting in the German city of Munich on the sidelines of a security conference on February 11.

During his April 19 conversation with Solana, Iran's top nuclear negotiator stressed Tehran's right to develop its peaceful nuclear program reiterating that Iran was always ready for constructive talks with other parties.

Meanwhile, on April 23, Solana told reporters in Luxembourg that he would meet Larijani in Ankara on Wednesday.

After the venue of Larijani-Solana talks was made public, the Iranian official told reporters that no preconditions should be brought up during the Ankara meeting.

Iran's new nuclear conditions, required new initiatives, Larijani stressed.

Referring to the West's concerns over Iran's alleged deviation from its peaceful nuclear activities, the SNSC secretary said the "non-deviation of Iran's peaceful nuclear program" could be the subject of the upcoming talks in Ankara.

"We would like to remove worries by other countries about our peaceful nuclear technology," Larijani stressed.

He added that holding serious and real negotiations under the current situation would benefit the West.

"If the negotiations are to be artificial and just a diplomatic dance, they will hardly lead to any result," Larijani warned.

He also expressed hope that the method of pursuing talks will change in a way that it would attract the confidence of the Iranian nation.

Meanwhile, commenting on the upcoming talks in Ankara, Solana said recently that diplomacy was the only solution for Iran nuclear standoff with the West.

He expressed hope that his talks with Larijani would continue like what was used to be in the past.

Solana said that the pair would discuss possible ways to prepare the grounds for holding official talks between Iran and the 3+3 group.

Cristina Gallach, Solana's spokesperson said on Monday, "We hope very much that the opportunity is seized on Wednesday and conditions are created for negotiations to start."

She said that there is consensus in the international community to solve Iran's nuclear issue through talks and negotiations.

Meanwhile, on the verge of Larijani-Solana meeting in Turkey, the EU foreign ministers confirmed on Monday the implementation of the United Nations sanctions against Iran.


Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list