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News number: 9102111665

11:54 | 2012-05-12

Foriegn Policy

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Iranian Negotiator Calls on West to Build Iran's Confidence

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of the Iranian team of negotiators in the talks with the six world powers called on the West to reciprocate Iran's goodwill gesture with confidence-building measures.

Iran's deputy Chief negotiator Ali Baqeri, who is in charge of preparing the next round of talks with the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) said after returning from discussions with China and Russia on Friday that "the West should take concrete steps to build trust with the Iranian people".

Iranian officials have in recent days underlined that the West should ease its economic sanctions hitting Iran's oil and finance sectors if it is willing to make progress in the talks with Tehran.

Baqeri said he held "serious discussions" in Beijing and Moscow about the talks between Iran and the G5+1.

The two sides last month renewed dialogue in Istanbul that had been in limbo for the previous 15 months. Another round of talks is scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad.

Baqeri stressed the "importance of the G5+1 countries' commitments concerning Iran's nuclear rights in the framework of the NPT (the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) in line with both sides' agreement in the Istanbul talks".

He also noted that both sides aim to move forward on "the basis of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity," and said the outline of that process "will be determined before the Baghdad meeting".

Baqeri's mention of an "agreement" in Istanbul appeared to refer to a mutual understanding, voiced by EU chief policy official Catherine Ashton, that the NPT formed the basis for "a sustained process of serious dialogue".

That would "ensure all the obligations under the NPT are met by Iran while fully respecting Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Ashton said after the Istanbul talks.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed the West's demand as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.