Topic: Iran's nuclear program
Hassan Rouhani transferred the authority to conduct nuclear talks from the country’s security council to the Foreign Ministry© REUTERS/ IRNA
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MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani transferred the authority to conduct nuclear talks from the country’s security council to the Foreign Ministry, the presidential office said in a statement on Thursday.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will become the country’s top nuclear negotiator. Previously, Iran's Supreme National Security Council had been in charge of nuclear talks.
Western countries suspect Iran of using its nuclear program to develop atomic weapons, a claim that Iran has consistently denied. Tehran claims it needs atomic technology for producing electricity, although it has some of the world's largest reserves of oil and gas.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov welcomed the announcement as a “positive signal” from Iran about its readiness for nuclear dialogue, but he said practical steps should follow.
He urged Iran and the six world powers engaged in nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic (five permanent UN Security Council members, plus Germany) to agree as soon as possible on the date and venue of a new round of negotiations.
“The process of forming a delegation is not yet completed, and this causes our concern. We are also concerned by the fact that the date and venue of the six-party talks are yet to be agreed,” the Russian diplomat said.
“We call on other Iran-Six members and Iran to agree on the time and location of the next round of talks as soon as possible,” he added.
A regular round of talks between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will be held in Vienna on September 27.
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