Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says he is “optimistic and hopeful” about the future of Tehran’s talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
In an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF on Thursday, Salehi said, “We are heading for goals that will be satisfactory for both sides. I am very optimistic and hopeful.”
The Iranian foreign minister made the remarks in reference to the latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany).
Iran and the P5+1 wrapped up their latest round of negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 27.
Both sides agreed to convene in Almaty again on April 5-6 for the next round of negotiations after holding “expert-level” talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on March 17-18.
“I call it a milestone. It is a turning point in the negotiations,” Salehi said during his visit to the Austrian capital, Vienna, to attend the 5th United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum.
In a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the UN conference on Wednesday, Salehi said, “We are ready to take measures to remove the nuclear concerns [over] our country via mutually agreed international means (between Iran and the West); however, the recognition of our [nuclear] rights by the opposite side will be paramount.”
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Over the false allegation, Washington and the European Union have imposed several rounds of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iran refutes the allegation and argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.