NEW DELHI (AFP/Reuters) - Iran’s top nuclear negotiator on Friday welcomed the return of leading world powers to talks over the country’s disputed atomic programme, but urged them “not to repeat their past mistakes”.
Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said Friday that Iran had invited world powers to resolve the impasse six months ago, which had now been considered.
“There was a six-month delay but they recently announced they are ready to come back for talks,” he told journalists at the Iranian embassy during a trip to New Delhi.
“We welcome their return to the talks. We hope that they will come to the talks with a constructive approach and (that) they will not repeat their past mistakes,” he added, without elaborating.
Meanwhile, the European Union says no date has been fixed for further talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, while hoping they will be soon, an EU foreign affairs spokesman said.
He was reacting to comments from Iran’s top nuclear negotiator. The EU spokesman would not say whether the powers had agreed to further talks with Iran.
Discussions on a date and venue are still ongoing, said Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, who leads negotiations on behalf of the six powers - the United States, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and China. “Senior officials from the EU and Iran spoke on December 31 to discuss the next round of negotiations, which we hope will happen soon,” Mann said in an emailed response to a query from Reuters.
The six powers are trying to use a mix of diplomacy and sanctions to rein in Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which they want to ensure is aimed only at civilian purposes, such as energy. Iran denies Western assertions that it is seeking nuclear weapons capability.