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