Iran offers to be West's 'reliable partner' in Mideast

By REUTERS
April 23, 2013 16:53

GENEVA - Iran said on Tuesday that it would be a "reliable partner" in the Middle East if Western countries would take a more cooperative approach in talks on its nuclear program.

Western powers blame tension with Iran in part on its refusal to cooperate with United Nations calls for curbs on its nuclear activity to ensure it is for peaceful purposes only, and to open up to investigations by UN inspectors.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, said that current US and European policies, including extensive sanctions on the Islamic Republic, were bound to fail.

"Western countries are advised to change gear from confrontation to cooperation, the window of opportunity to enter into negotiation for long-term strategic cooperation with Iran, the most reliable, strong and stable partner in the region, is still open," Soltanieh told a meeting in Geneva on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).


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