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Iran clarifies proposals in Moscow talks

Source: Mehr News Agency

MOSCOW, June 18 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran elaborated on its five-point package of proposals during a new round of talks with the six major powers in Moscow on Monday. The talks between Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany), which are being held at Golden Ring Hotel, are scheduled to continue on Tuesday.

The Iranian negotiating delegation is led by Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili (right), and the P5+1 group is headed by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The negotiations are a continuation of talks that were held in Istanbul on April 14 and in Baghdad on May 23 and 24.

Saeed Jalili, who is the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, is leading the Iranian delegation in the negotiations, and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton represents the 5+1 group in the talks.

After the sessions of the first day of the talks concluded, SNSC Deputy Secretary Ali Baqeri told reporters in Moscow that Iran had elaborated on the proposals presented in Baghdad during the negotiations, the Mehr New Agency correspondent reported.

He described the meetings as "serious" and "constructive", adding that the Iranian negotiators had expressed their views on the proposals presented by the six major powers.

The main points of Iran's package of proposals are as follows:

(1) Negotiations must be purposeful. The starting point and the end point of the talks must be made clear. Therefore, it is necessary that a framework be developed for talks and their principles and purposes be determined.

(2) Negotiations must be effective and must be based on a step-by-step approach.

(3) The framework of talks should be determined, and it must be made clear when and how the talks will end and what path should be taken.

(4) and (5) The negotiating countries must recognize Iran's right to enrichment under the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). Iran's nuclear rights should not be reduced and no obligations beyond the NPT should be imposed on it. If these points are clarified, the legal status of the United Nations Security Council sanctions can be determined.

The UN Security Council has approved four rounds of sanctions on Iran in order to pressure the country over its nuclear program.

In his remarks, Baqeri said that the implementation of Iran's proposals would help advance the negotiations.

Iran emphasized its right to enrichment during the talks and mentioned the measures that the 5+1 group must take to help build confidence and enhance cooperation in nuclear and non-nuclear fields, he stated.

The Iranian negotiators also emphasized that according to the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN Charter, the referral of Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council was "illegal", Baqeri added.

Ashton thanked Iran for expressing its views in the talks and said that the 5+1 group would announce its response to Tehran's proposals on the second day of the talks.

EU foreign policy spokesman says calm atmosphere prevailed in talks

European Union foreign policy spokesman Michael Mann told reporters on Monday that a "calm" atmosphere had prevailed in the talks and that both sides were interacting easily, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported.

Commenting on the oil embargo that the European Union has imposed on Iran, Mann said that the EU had made no decision to delay the implementation of the embargo.

The European Union formally imposed an oil embargo on Iran and agreed to a freeze on the assets of the Central Bank of Iran on January 23, but existing contracts will be honored until July 1.

Iran pursuing three-step approach at Moscow talks

The Mehr News Agency quoted an Iranian diplomat in Moscow, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying on Monday that Iran was pursuing a three-step approach during the talks.

According to the official, the first step is "to criticize the 5+1 group for not using opportunities for a month since the Baghdad talks and not arranging meetings between deputies."

The second step is "to enter serious and content-based talks about what the 5+1 is seeking to negotiate," he said, adding that the third step is "to explain the five points that Iran had proposed in Baghdad in a clearer way so that the 5+1 group's commitment to engage in serious negotiations on these points will be put to the test."

In addition, the Iranian diplomat stated, "Iran has prepared clear and well-documented responses, based on the NPT, to the West's proposals."

Before the talks, Jalili said that the Moscow talks would show if the 5+1 group wants to see Iran making progress.

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