Davutoglu and Salehi 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
TEHRAN - Turkey has delivered a Western offer to Tehran to renew
negotiations over its nuclear program, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
said on Thursday, expressing hope that talks stalled a year ago could
soon be revived.
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As new sanctions from the United States and the
European Union added pressure on the Iranian economy, Iranian Foreign
Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Tehran was also interested in
returning to the negotiating table.
Iran says it'd hit Turkey missile shield if attacked
at a joint news conference with Salehi, Davutoglu said Salehi had
"responded in kind" to "an expression of willingness by the West to
resume negotiations" that he had brought.
"We are waiting for a
good result coming out of the willingness of the two parties to go back
to the negotiating table," Davutoglu told the news conference, carried
live on Iran's Press TV with English translation.
"As far as
negotiations over Iran's peaceful nuclear energy program, we hope that
we will gain good results and the unfavorable conditions that have
emerged, we hope that they will go away. On the international arena we
hope that Iran will be able to have good ties."
Salehi confirmed Iran was ready to return to talks with the permanent
members of the UN Security Council and Germany (P5+1) at a time and
place agreed by both sides.
He said the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who heads the
P5+1 delegation, had suggested to Turkey that it host the talks and that
Ankara had agreed.
"Personally I think that Turkey is the best place for the talks to take place," Salehi said.Stalemate
Istanbul was the venue of the last talks which ended in stalemate since
when Iran has come under much tougher sanctions from the West which
accuses it of seeking nuclear weapons capability. Tehran says its
nuclear program is peaceful and that it has a sovereign right to atomic
Jerusalem has said it could launch preemptive strikes if diplomacy
fails to stop Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Iran says it would close the
Gulf to shipping if attacked, a potentially major blow to the world oil
Salehi insisted Iran would survive the latest sanctions, which could cut
any bank around the world off from the US financial system if it also
does business with Iran and will also stop the EU buying Iranian crude.
"Iran, with divine assistance, has always been ready to counter such
hostile actions and we are not concerned at all about the sanctions,"
"Just as we have weathered the storm in the last 32 years with the help
of God and efforts that we make, we will be able to survive this as
well," he added.
But in a further indication that Iran hoped to resume talks, President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke by phone
on Thursday at Tehran's initiative, the Kremlin said.
According to a statement on the Kremlin's website, Medvedev expressed
satisfaction with Ahmadinejad's "positive evaluation" of Russia's
"step-by-step" proposal to dispel concerns about Iran's nuclear program.
Russia supported four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions against
Iran in the late 2000s but expressed sharp opposition to further UN
sanctions and criticized tougher EU and US measures.