EU's Ashton to Meet Iran Nuclear Negotiatorإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton will meet later this month Iran's foreign minister, newly in charge of the dossier on the country's contested nuclear program, an official said Friday.
Ashton called Mohammad Javad Zarif "following the news that the Foreign Ministry will be responsible for the nuclear negotiations," Ashton's spokesman Michael Mann said.
"They agreed that they will meet in New York during the U.N. General Assembly," held later this month, Mann said.
Tehran announced Thursday that President Hassan Rowhani had tasked the Foreign Ministry with handling the nuclear talks, a move taken as signaling Iran might prove more accommodating that under his predecessor.
Under president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's nuclear dossier was handled by unyielding hardliners.
Zarif said Friday in Tehran that Iran wants to allay international concerns over its nuclear program, widely suspected of hiding efforts to build a bomb.
"There are two principles in the nuclear domain -- first and foremost, respect for our rights in matters of nuclear technology, especially the enrichment of uranium," he said.
"Following that is to allay international concerns" on the program," he added.
Ashton leads the talks with Tehran on behalf of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany.
Last month, she called Zarif to express 'her continued determination and commitment to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue."
Rowhani has said Iran is ready for "serious" talks on its nuclear program without delay.
Western countries and Israel accuse Iran of using its nuclear program as a cover to develop weapons capability, a charge Tehran strongly denies.