Iran still ready for talks with 5+1 group,  Ahmadinejad tells UN chief

TEHRAN, Sept. 20 (MNA) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that Iran is still ready to hold negotiations with the major powers over a nuclear swap.

Ahmadinejad made the remarks at a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters in New York on Sunday in which the two discussed a wide range of regional and international issues.

The Iranian president underscored the necessity of implementing a structural reform of the United Nations.

Establishing lasting peace and security will be impossible unless all nations of the world cooperate actively, and the United Nations must set the stage for all countries to play an active role in global issues, he noted.

He also criticized the fact that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have the right of veto, saying this prevents other countries from having a say in running the world’s affairs.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad welcomed the political developments taking place in Afghanistan and called on the United Nations to make efforts to facilitate the transition of power to the Afghan people.

However, the Iranian president said the United States’ military approach cannot solve the Afghanistan crisis, and added, “If only a portion of the military expenditures had been spent on building up Afghanistan, there would be no problems in the country today.”

Experience has shown that the military expeditions to Iraq and Afghanistan have not brought terrorism under control, and thus the United Nations should play a more active role in the campaign against terrorism, he stated.

On the sanctions that the UN imposed on Iran over its nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said the sanctions will not affect the Iranian economy and expressed concern over the credibility of the UN Security Council.

“The Tehran declaration was transparent and reasonable, and was intended to replace the spirit of confrontation with a sprit of agreement. But unfortunately, the 5+1 group (the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany) made a wrong response to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s goodwill,” he noted.

However, Iran is still prepared to hold negotiations and dialogue based on the Tehran declaration, Ahmadinejad added.

On May 17, Iran, Turkey, and Brazil signed a declaration, according to which Iran would ship 1200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel rods to power the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

Ban Ki-moon commended Iran for its constructive role in the efforts to establish peace and security in the region and especially in Afghanistan.

The UN secretary general also said a “mutually acceptable agreement” should be reached to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad is scheduled to deliver a speech at the 65th UN General Assembly session, which officially opens on Tuesday at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The Iranian president also held talks with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in New York on Sunday.

Ahmadinejad told Talabani that Iran and Iraq have many historical and cultural affinities, adding, “The expansion of relations between Iran and Iraq will be beneficial for regional peace and security.”

He stressed the importance of restoring security and stability in Iraq and expressed hope that a new Iraqi government would be established in the near future.

Talabani praised the Islamic Republic of Iran for its role in the efforts to establish security and stability in Iraq.

The Iraqi president also said that Baghdad would redouble its efforts to promote relations with Tehran.

At a meeting with Iranian expatriates living in the United States on Sunday, President Ahmadinejad stated that Iran is emerging as a major country in the world.

“The future belongs to Iran and the Iranian culture,” he said.

He also called on Iranian people in every corner of the world to maintain their Iranian identity and uphold their cultural values.

Ahmadinejad said the coercive U.S. foreign policy contrasts sharply with Iran’s humanitarian and cultural approach toward other countries.

“We consider ourselves to be a humanitarian force and a cultural power and hence a friend of other nations. We have never sought to dominate others or to violate the rights of any other country,” he added.

HJ/HG
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MNA

News Code 42007

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