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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Baqeri evaluates talks with Ashton’s deputy “positive”

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Ankara, July 26, IRNA -- Deputy Secretary of IRI Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Baqeri here Wednesday evaluated outcome of his Tuesday talks with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton’s Deputy Helga Schmidt as positive.

Baqeri who had arrived in Ankara at the end of the two Iran-G5+1 deputies’ talks in Istanbul, attended the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had an almost two hour talk with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The meeting took place in the presence of the IRI Ambassador Bahman Hosseinpour.

Baqeri who was speaking with IRNA and IRIB reporters Wednesday evening after that meeting, said, “My meeting with Ms. Schmidt was in line with the agreements reached in Moscow negotiations.”

He added, “It was agreed at the end of the Moscow negotiations that a round of talks between the two sides’ technicians would be held, which was held in Istanbul on July 3rd, and was a good, positive meeting, as both sides confirmed.”

After that and relying on the achievements of the technicians’ talks, the deputies’ talks were held yesterday, paving the path for the upcoming Jalili-Ashton negotiations, said Baqeri.

He added, “During my Tuesday talks with Ms. Schmidt we managed to pursue within good frameworks, and we reached agreements on continuing this process in future higher level negotiations.”

Iran’s deputy SNSC secretary had said, “Iran and Turkey are not only two good neighbors, but also two strategic partners” arguing that relations between the two countries are vastly expanding in various fields, and therefore in my talks with Foreign Minister Davutoglu we also talked about bilateral relations and the regional developments.”

Baqeri added, “The Turkish foreign minister was agreed with us on the point that Iran’s right to take peaceful advantage of the nuclear energy must be respected, and stressed that the nuclear talks must continue.

Iran's chief negotiator Sa'eid Jalili said after two days of talks with the six world powers in Moscow that uranium enrichment is the Iranian nation's inalienable right and the Group 5+1 should now make a choice.

EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who leads the delegations of the six world powers in negotiations with Iran, said that the representatives from Tehran and the sextet will attend an experts' meeting next month on July 3rd in Istanbul.

Iran and the Group 5+1 held several rounds of talks in Baghdad two months ago. The Baghdad meeting came after Iran and the six world powers resumed talks in Istanbul, Turkey, in April.

It should be noted that Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of 'trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program,' while they have never presented any compelling evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed the West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing those sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80247390

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