SHAFAQNA – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the European Union (EU) can play a more active role in the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
In a meeting with Portugal’s Foreign Minister Rui Machete in Tehran on Monday, Zarif assessed as positive the European countries’ current approach of opposing the imposition of more sanctions against Tehran and trying out diplomacy.
Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany – are in talks to secure a final comprehensive deal over Iran’s civilian nuclear work. Since an interim deal was agreed in the Swiss city of Geneva in November 2013, the negotiating sides have missed two self-imposed deadlines to ink a comprehensive agreement. Tehran and the six countries seek to reach a high-level political agreement by March 1 and to confirm the full technical details of the accord by July 1.
Zarif further welcomed Portugal’s move to improve relations with Iran and said the two countries have proper capacities for strengthening cooperation in various fields, particularly in the sectors of economy and tourism.
Portugal’s stance on Iran’s nuclear issue
The Portuguese foreign minister recognized Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy and hoped the negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 countries would yield results as soon as possible.
He added that Iran plays an important role in the Middle East and can help maintain peace and stability in the region.
Russia’s call for diplomacy
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Moscow on Monday that Iran’s nuclear issue should be settled only through political and diplomatic approaches.
He called for a solution to Iran’s nuclear issue that creates no risks or threats to regional security.
“We are convinced that only a political diplomatic solution to the issue is possible. We categorically insist that the problem is solved so as not to create any risks or threats to security of countries in the region,” Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister’s remarks came after he said on Wednesday there had been progress in Iran-P5+1 talks and added that there were grounds to believe an agreement could be reached by an end-June deadline.
The Russian foreign minister had said on Wednesday that there had been progress in the Iran-P5+1 talks and added that there were grounds to believe an agreement could be reached by an end-June deadline.