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Expert meetings with 5+1 meant to bridge 'large' gap in views: Iranian Negotiator

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, has said that any wrong measure by the six major powers will negatively affect future talks over the country's nuclear program.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili

SNSC secretary general made the remarks at a press conference in Moscow on late Tuesday after two days of talks between Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) when asked if the group had agreed to help lift the sanctions imposed on Iran.

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

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton represented world powers in the talks and Jalili led the Iranian delegation.

During the talks in Moscow, the two sides agreed to hold expert meetings in Istanbul on July 3.

Commenting on the sanctions that have been imposed on the country, Jalili said that Iran's rights must be respected and measures against the country must be dropped to help enhance confidence.

Asked if the oil embargo that the European Union has imposed on Iran, which will take effect on July 1, would affect future talks, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said, "We have emphasized that negotiations should be pursued with a cooperative approach, and any measure taken against this approach will definitely affect the outcome of the negotiations. And any wrong move on a path other than the path of cooperation will definitely not be constructive and will be properly responded to."

20% enrichment is Iran's inalienable right

Jalili was also asked to comment on the remarks that Ashton made on Tuesday in which she stated that the 5+1 group had demanded that Iran stop enriching uranium to a purity level of 20 percent, ship out stockpiled highly-enriched nuclear materials, and close down the Fordo underground enrichment facility.

Jalili said, "The most important issue was that the Islamic Republic of Iran mentioned four points in the nuclear field, namely confidence building, cooperation in clarification, opposition to weapons of mass destruction, and normal nuclear cooperation. What we are emphasizing and emphasized in Istanbul is that cooperation must be based on these four points, and appropriate and mutual measures must be taken in such a way that would not violate Iran's rights, particularly (the right to) 20 percent enrichment."

"We emphasized that enriching uranium is the inalienable right of the Iranian nation. Enriching uranium for peaceful purposes is an absolute right... We clearly explained why we regard Security Council sanctions as illegal," he added.

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

Experts meetings meant to bridge 'large' gap in views

On the agreement made between Iran and the six major powers to hold expert talks, Jalili noted, "After the Baghdad talks, we announced that expert meetings must be held to have successful and forward-looking negotiations. Talks between Iran and the six countries can be successful if expert meetings are held in the interval between the talks to help bring views closer together.

"This is why we wrote five letters in the 25-day interval between the talks in Baghdad and Moscow... We had also expressed this view after the Istanbul meeting."

He added, "As Ms. Ashton announced, the most important result of the talks in Moscow was the acceptance of Iran's view that expert meetings must be held. We welcome the fact that the other side agreed with Iran's view, albeit two months late, and regard it as important."

"Given the fact that Iran's points were mentioned comprehensively, they (the 5+1 group) stated that they need more time to study the points before expressing their views," he stated.

The purpose of holding expert meetings is to "bridge the large gap in views," Jalili stated, adding, "We hope that expert meetings and meetings between Baqeri and Schmid will produce favorable results and will help develop proposals so that Ms. Ashton and I will be able to make a decision on the next round of talks."

Ashton said on Tuesday that Ali Baqeri, the deputy secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, and Helga Schmid, the deputy secretary general for political affairs of the European External Action Service, would maintain contact to make preparations for additional talks.

Jalili also said, "Meetings between experts and deputies and future talks will be successful if such meetings are held based on a dialogue-and-cooperation approach, and any move against such a constructive approach and will be responded to properly."

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