11242014Mon

Russia nuclear envoy makes snap visit to Iran

TEHRAN (AFP) — Russia's representative in international talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, Sergei Ryabkov, met Tehran's top negotiator on a surprise visit on Wednesday, news agencies reported.

Ryabkov, who is also deputy foreign minister, met Saeed Jalili, who said Tehran "hopes for a swift return of the P5+1 countries to the negotiating table," the official news agency IRNA reported.

The recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium "cannot be a precondition for talks but will be one of the topics of discussion," Ryabkov said, according to ISNA, another Iranian agency.

Ryabkov's visit came three days after he was quoted as telling Britain's Financial Times newspaper that Moscow would support direct talks between Iran and the United States on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi responded Monday by saying any "decision on comprehensive, bilateral political talks between the two countries... is up to the supreme leader," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

US President Barack Obama, whose re-election Iran welcomed with caution, said on Wednesday there was still a "window of time" to end the standoff and promised further diplomatic efforts.

"With respect to Iran, I very much want to see a diplomatic resolution to the problem," Obama told a White House press conference.

"I will try to make a push in the coming months to see if we can open up a dialogue between Iran and not just us, but the international community, to see if we can get this thing resolved."

Salehi, meanwhile, expressed hope that negotiations on its nuclear programme with the so-called P5+1 -- the UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany -- would resume soon.

The P5+1 has for years sought through negotiations with Iran to defuse an international crisis over Tehran's atomic ambitions, which the West believes has military aims despite repeated denials by the Islamic republic.

The last high-level talks, which all but failed, were held in Moscow in June.

According to Salehi, Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the world powers in the talks, are to hold a telephone conversation "to decide on a venue and date".

The UN atomic watchdog has said it will hold a new round of talks in Tehran on December 13.

The Security Council has imposed four sets of sanctions on the Islamic regime, which coupled with unilateral Western restrictions on its oil sector and banks, have begun to cause major problems for its economy.

Search

Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE