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News number: 9107166316

15:49 | 2013-05-01

Foriegn Policy

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US Media: Outcome of Presidential Election Unlikely to Affect Iran-G5+1 Talks

TEHRAN (FNA)- Sources in the US said that the outcome of Iran's next presidential election slated for June is unlikely to influence talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).

The US al-Monitor website wrote that regardless of who becomes Iran's next president, there will be no shift in the country's policy vis-à-vis talks with the six world powers.

The website reiterated that experts on sanctions believe that any progress with Iran in the upcoming nuclear talks will require Europeans to ease their embargo on purchasing Iranian oil.

The point was reaffirmed by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi who emphasized that negotiations are independent from the results of the June presidential elections in Iran, it added.

Presidential hopeful and current Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who has formed 2+1 coalition with former Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel and Supreme Leader's Advisor for International Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati, has also reaffirmed that in case of winning the June presidential race, he or other members of his coalition will pursue the "resistance diplomacy" that has characterized Tehran's behavior in the nuclear talks so far, the website noted.

Therefore, at least in the short term, Washington should not expect a sudden shift in Tehran's nuclear stance, it concluded.

Iran will hold the 11th presidential election on June 14, 2013. Presidential hopefuls will register from May 7 to 11.

Earlier this month, Iran and the G5+1 wrapped up two days of intensive negotiations in Almaty after the delegations of the world powers demanded further consultations with their capitals.

The Iranian team was led by Iran's Top Negotiator Saeed Jalili, who is also the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), and the G5+1's representatives were presided by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Western media raised some speculations that the continuation of talks would depend on the upcoming presidential election in Iran, and that nothing substantial would take place under the present conditions.

Following the Almaty talks, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast described the meetings with the world powers in Kazakhstan as "positive", and said Tehran is waiting for the opposite side's response to its proposals.

"The two sides' comments described as positive the start of straightforward and serious expression of views, and to take a correct step, our officials expressed their views and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) should now respond," Mehman-Parast said at a weekly press conference in Tehran.

"We are (now) waiting for Mrs. Ashton's response and her consultations with the G5+1," he added.

Iran had announced a day prior to the start of the talks that it would enter the negotiations with the G5+1 with clear, groundbreaking proposals.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, saying that renouncing its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would encourage the world powers to put further pressure on the country and would not lead to a change in the West's hardline stance on Tehran.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment. The United States and the European Union have ratcheted up their sanctions on Iran this year to force it to curb its nuclear program.

Iranian officials have always shrugged off the sanctions, saying that pressures make them strong and reinvigorate their resolve to further move towards self-sufficiency.