Iran praises Geneva nuclear talks as "step forward"
www.chinaview.cn 2008-07-21 00:22:52   Print

Special Report: Iran Nuclear Crisis

°§"Holding any talks is considered a step forward," Ahmadinejad said.
°§"... there is always progress in these talks, but insufficient,"  Solana said.
°§Ahmadinejad said Iran would continue its nuclear drive.

    TEHRAN, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Iranian officials on Sunday voiced their satisfaction at the latest high-level talks between major countries and Tehran over its controversial nuclear programs in Geneva, Switzerland.

    "Holding any talks is considered a step forward," the official IRNA news agency quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying.

Iranian officials on Sunday voiced their satisfaction at the latest high-level talks between major countries and Tehran over its controversial nuclear programs in Geneva, Switzerland.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves as he attends the opening ceremony of the 29th Annual Session of the OPEC Ministerial Council in the city of Isfahan, 450 km (280 miles) south of Tehran, June 17, 2008.  (Xinhua/Reuters, File Photo)
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    "Yesterday's negotiation is regarded as one of these forward-moving negotiations," he added.

    He was referring to the talks between Iranian top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana Saturday in Geneva, in the presence of U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns and senior diplomats from China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

    Solana told a press conference after the talks that "there is always progress in these talks, but insufficient," adding the one-day meeting was "constructive."

E.U. foreign policy chief Javier Solana (L) shakes hand with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili before a meeting on nuclear issues at the Town Hall in Geneva July 19, 2008.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana (L) shakes hand with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili before a meeting on nuclear issues at the Town Hall in Geneva, July 19, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    He voiced hope that the long-running Iran nuclear issue should be solved through cooperation instead of confrontation.

    However, U.S. spokesman Sean McCormack warned after the talks that Iran should either accept the incentives, or face "further isolation."

    Ahmadinejad rejected any threats against the Islamic Republic, saying the country would continue its nuclear drive.

    "We expect threats and hostility from the enemies side, but we are getting stronger day by day and keep moving forward," the Iranian president said.

Iranian officials on Sunday voiced their satisfaction at the latest high-level talks between major countries and Tehran over its controversial nuclear programs in Geneva, Switzerland.

U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns sits before a meeting with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and E.U. foreign policy chief Javier Solana on nuclear issues at the Town Hall in Geneva July 19, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    The United States had indeed injected some hope of progress at the nuclear talks by sending Burns to the one-day meeting in Geneva, which was the highest-level contact between Tehran and Washington since 1979.

    On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that the presence of U.S. representative in Geneva talks prepared an opportunity for Washington to become aware of Iran's views directly.

    "Such a move by the U.S. administration can be considered a positive measure," IRNA quoted Mottaki as saying.

    Hassan Rowhani, Iran's former top nuclear negotiator, also said on Sunday that the presence of U.S. special envoy in Iran nuclear talks in Geneva was regarded as a U-turn in U.S. diplomacy.

    "The shift in U.S. diplomacy has created a very good opportunity for Iran and we should do our best to make use of it," he said.

    However, the White House has reiterated that Washington would not join full-blown talks unless Iran gave up uranium enrichment activities.

    Even though Burns' meeting with Jalili on Saturday was the highest-level contact between the two nations since 1979, it did not signal a significant shift in Washington's policy toward Iran, some analysts said.

    Iran gave no clear answer to the package of incentives for suspending its nuclear program, though the country is asked to make a response within two weeks.

    "We have not got an answer to the most important issue," Solana said on Saturday. "We are looking forward to an answer to these questions in a couple of weeks."

    Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kisliak, who also attended the talks in Geneva, was quoted by the Russian Ria-Novosti news agency as saying that he too expected a response from Iran in two weeks.

    The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying todevelop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran has denied the U.S. charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

    On June 14, Solana handed the offer of incentives to the Iranian authorities on behalf of UN Security Council permanent members -- France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States --plus Germany (Group 5+1), in a bid to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment.

    Iran has also presented its own package of proposals, which is aimed to help resolve regional and international problems, including Iran's nuclear issue.

    Jalili, in his meeting with Kisliak in Geneva on Sunday, said that commonalties of the roadmaps proposed by the two sides can be the basis for future talks between Iran and major powers, according to IRNA's report.

    "The two proposed roadmaps have good common points for continuation of talks and can serve as a good basis for future activities," Jalili said. "The points of difference between the roadmaps are also worth discussing." 

Iran nuclear talks register "insufficient" progress

     GENEVA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The high-level talks between six countries and Iran over its controversial nuclear programs have yielded "insufficient" progress on Saturday and diplomats attending the one-day meeting have called for enhanced efforts so as to solve the issue peacefully.

    "There is always progress in these talks, but insufficient," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told a press conference after talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in the presence of U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns and senior diplomats from China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.  Full story

U.S. admiral calls for global pressure on Iran

    WASHINGTON, July 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Admiral Michael Mullen urged on Sunday the international community to increase economic and political pressure on Iran in the settlement of the crisis over Tehran's nuclear program.

    Speaking to the Fox network, Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, said that he felt encouraged by the talks between European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili Saturday in Geneva, in the presence of U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns and senior diplomats from China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.  Full story

Prospects of Iranian nuclear issue's resolution remain dim after Geneva talks

    GENEVA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A solution to Iran's nuclear issue remains elusive after the high-level talks in Geneva on Saturday between six major powers and Iran achieved only "insufficient" progress.

    Significant progress is unlikely unless the key parties involved in the issue are ready to show more flexibility and make substantial compromise, analysts say.  Full story

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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