AFP: Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on Saturday reiterated Switzerland’s offer to help with a negotiated solution to the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear programme during a meeting with the top Iranian negotiator, Ali Larijani. GENEVA, July 8, 2006 (AFP) – Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on Saturday reiterated Switzerland’s offer to help with a negotiated solution to the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear programme during a meeting with the top Iranian negotiator, Ali Larijani.
Switzerland currently represents US interests in Iran and has acted as a conduit between Tehran and Washington since the United States broke off diplomatic relations in 1980.
“Switzerland favours a negotiated solution to the nuclear dossier and is willing, if requested, to provide its support compatible with its means,” the Swiss foreign ministry said following the meeting in the Swiss capital Bern.
“Switzerland is actively committed to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament but it also recognises the right of every State to make peaceful use of nuclear energy,” it added.
Swiss officials declined to give details of the encounter, which was described as “informal”.
Calmy-Rey made a similar offer during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Switzerland on June 22.
Larijani, the head of Iran’s supreme national security council, informed Switzerland of the “latest developments in his country’s position on the nuclear dossier” during Saturday’s meeting, the statement said.
Iran is facing mounting international pressure ahead of the Group of Eight (G8) summit on July 15-17 to show that it is ready to accept an offer from France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China.
Larijani on Friday shrugged off calls for a swift response to the offer of economic incentives in return for the suspension of Tehran’s uranium enrichment programme, following meetings with Spanish government ministers in Madrid.