Resolve Iran’s Nuclear Issue

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Sunday that Iran will take more steps in the upcoming nuclear talks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue.

Salehi called the Istanbul talks held earlier this month ” successful” and expressed hope that the scheduled meeting in Baghdad would be even more fruitful, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

“As we took one step forward in Istanbul, God willing we will take several steps in the Baghdad meeting,” Salehi said in a joint press conference with his visiting Armenian counterpart.

The Istanbul talks marked the beginning of the end of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear issue, he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

The latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the UN Security Council’s five permanent members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany (P5+1), concluded in Turkey’s Istanbul earlier this month, with all sides describing the talks as positive and agreeing to meet again in the Iraqi capital on May 23.

“We hope that we will see the closure of this artificial (nuclear) case” in future, said Salehi, according to Mehr.

Asked to give details about the content of the talks in Baghdad, Salehi said that the details will come out later. But he said Deputy Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Baqeri and EU Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid have been assigned to prepare the draft of a framework for cooperation before the next round of the talks in Baghdad, local satellite Press TV reported.

In reply to a question about the next round of talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Salehi said “A framework would be established within which measures that should be taken by both sides would be stated and acted upon,” according to Mehr.

On Friday, Iran’s permanent representative to the IAEA Ali- Asghar Soltanieh said the Islamic republic and the UN nuclear watchdog have agreed to hold new talks on Iran’s nuclear issue on May 13-14, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Soltanieh said the talks with the agency will encompass setting framework and modality for responding to some IAEA questions relevant to Iran’s nuclear activities.

It has been agreed that the next round of talks will be held in Iran’s permanent representative office in Vienna, the report quoted Soltanieh as saying.

In March, the IAEA head Yukiya Amano said that Iran had stepped up its nuclear enrichment activities, as its monthly production of 20-percent purity uranium had tripled since November 2011.

Speaking at the quarterly meeting of the IAEA board, Yukiya Amano said the UN nuclear watchdog had “serious concerns” that Iran’s heightened enrichment activities might relate to the development of nuclear weapons.

Amano also highlighted Iran’s repeated refusal to allow inspectors into Parchin military site, in which simulated nuclear warhead tests allegedly took place.

Earlier, Soltanieh said that access to Parchin would only be granted if Iran and the IAEA agree on certain conditions.

A senior Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that referring Iran’s nuclear case back to the IAEA could increase confidence ahead of the upcoming talks between Tehran and six major world powers, according to Press TV.

“Referring Iran’s case from the UN Security Council back to the IAEA could be the most important confidence-building factor between the two sides, particularly for Iran,” member of Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Parviz Sorouri was quoted as saying.

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