Iran keen to resume nuclear talks

Abbas-AraqchiTehran, Aug 20 : Iran is waiting for President Hassan Rouhani to appoint a chief nuclear negotiator as the first step towards resumption of talks with world powers, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

After the appointment of the nuclear negotiator, the next step would be to specify the time to resume the talks, Xinhua quoted Abbas Araqchi as saying.

Asked about the possibility of Iran's foreign ministry to represent the country in the nuclear talks, Araqchi said: "If the foreign ministry is tasked with (leading the nuclear) talks, I am sure that the ministry has the required capacity and will do the job well."

Some media reports suggested recently that, under the new administration, it is likely that Iran's foreign ministry will take over the responsibility from the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) of the country to lead the nuclear talks with the world powers.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was endorsed as Iran's new foreign minister last week, was a member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, led by Rouhani, from 2003 to 2005.

On Tuesday, the Iranian spokesman reiterated his country's recent position that "Iran is after result-oriented talks".

"We are not interested in talks for talks' sake," said Araqchi, adding that Iran wanted "purposeful" negotiations "within specified timetable".

In a telephone conversation with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Saturday, Zarif stressed on a "political determination" and "serious will" for resolving Iran's nuclear issue with Iran's nuclear rights recognised.

Both Iran's new government and the world powers have shown interest at resuming nuclear talks after the last round of negotiations, which were held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April failed without yielding much practical results. (IANS)