GENEVA - Iran’s
foreign minister outlined a new proposal to six big powers on Tuesday to constrain his country’s nuclear program in return for a right to enrich uranium, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, , asserted that there had been a “positive atmosphere” during the initial round of talks here and that the reaction by diplomats to the proposal had been “good.”
The Iranian Students’ News Agency, ISNA,
quoted Mr. Araqchi as saying the Islamic republic had made several points to address international concerns over what Iran asserts is a peaceful nuclear program but which the Western powers and Israel contend is an effort to lay the groundwork for developing nuclear weapons.
Abbas Araqchi (Photo: AFP)
Negotiations leader Wendy Sherman (Photo: AP)
Araqchi asserted that Iran had a right to enrich uranium and would do so despite the demands of the Security Council that it suspend enrichment until questions about the nature of its program are satisfactorily resolved. The enrichment, he said, would continue to be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Catherine Ashton and Mohammad Javad Zarif (Photo: Reuters)
Iran’s plan, he said, was based on the religious edict by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
against the use and production of nuclear weapons. Other details of the proposal remain classified.
“At least it was welcomed,” Mr. Araqchi said of the Western response. “But its details need to be explored and tomorrow we can make a final conclusion to see if we had any progress.”
US Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf
said the US delegation would welcome bilateral talks with Iran on the sidelines of the Geneva meeting.
The Iranians' presentation was titled: "Closing Unnecessary Crisis, Opening New Horizons."
Lior Zilberstein is Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth's correspondent in Geneva
Reuters contributed to this story
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