Almaty, Kazakhstan, 18 Rabi’ul Akhir 1434/ 28 February 2013 (MINA) – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov says the first meeting of Iran and the P5+1 group in Almaty, Kazakhstan, was ‘useful.’
Ryabkov made the comments after the first day of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany) in Almaty on Tuesday (26/2).
Delegations from Russia and Iran also held a bilateral meeting on Tuesday, according to Press TV reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said, “We have prepared a good and updated offer for the talks, which we believe is balanced and a fair basis for constructive talks.”
Iran and the P5+1 group have held several rounds of talks with the main focus on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The last round of negotiations was held in Moscow in June 2012.
The United States, the Israeli regime 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 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been diverted toward non-civilian purposes.
The world needs to see that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful to discuss any weakening of the sanctions, Russia’s Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov stated in Kazakhstan’s capital of Almaty Monday in the run-up to the Tuesday Big Six talks with Tehran.
The diplomat urged Tehran to be more cooperative and expressed hope that the talks will result in a deal.
Talks are due to resume on Wednesday. Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili is heading the Islamic Republic’s negotiating delegation. The P5+1 group is led by Catherine Ashton. (T/P011/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)