Speaking in his first ever news conference since officially being sworn into office after his victory at elections in June, Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani has declared that he is ready to engage in serious negotiations with the West in an attempt to earn the removal of all sanctions currently in place against his country. Ever since his election hopes have been high that Rohani may well be the man to help find adiplomatic resolution to the long running dispute over Iran’s secretive nuclear program.
“We are ready, in all seriousness and without wasting time, to engage in serious negotiations,” he said. “If the other side is also serious, I’m confident that through dialogue the concerns of both sides will be removed in the near future.”
Since his victory the US has said that it is open to new talks with Tehran in the search for a serious solution to the nuclear dispute, however Rohani has said that Washington has been sending mixed signals. With offers of talks coming at the same time as new sanctions being levied against his country.
“Recent declarations from the White House show that some U.S. officials do not have a correct and realistic assessment of the situation here and the message that the Iranian people gave in the election.
Dialogue should start with talks, not threats. The other side should understand that the only solution is through talks, and threats will only create more problems. If someone thinks they can impose their demands on Iran through threats, they are deeply mistaken.”
Russia has shown their support for Rohani’s desire to begin new talks with a goal of reaching a settlement, with the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, stating that “it’s extremely important to support such an attitude from the Iranian leadership.”
Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief and representative of the six world powers who would face Iran in the talks, wrote on Tuesday that the new round of talks should begin as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, despite all the calls for serious talks, and a determination to work an end to the nuclear dispute and lift sanctions against Iran, Rohani has reiterated that he will not budge on his country’s right to use nuclear energy, nor its program to enrich uranium.“Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is a national issue. We will not give up the rights of the Iranian people.”
A reprieve from sanctions seems highly unlikely whilst Iran remain unable to show flexibility on these issues.
The piece has been cross-posted from Oil Price with permission.