Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes the recently concluded talks between Iran and the E3+3 grouping – made up of the United Kingdom, the United States, China, France, Germany and Russia – his spokesperson said today.
“The Secretary-General is encouraged by the willingness of both sides to continue engaging in discussions to resolve the differences and, in that regard, welcomes the decision to hold a next round of talks in Moscow, from 18-19 June,” the spokesperson told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.
According to media reports, there had been no breakthrough in the talks between Iran and the E3+3 in Baghdad, Iraq, earlier this week, with Iran rejecting calls to stop enriching uranium which could be used for weapons and the other six countries refusing to halt economic sanctions on Iran.
Iran’s nuclear programme – which its officials have stated is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Earlier this year, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted ongoing serious concerns about a possible military dimension to Iran’s nuclear programme.
The UN chief’s spokesperson said that Mr. Ban has consistently advocated a comprehensive and negotiated political solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, and strongly supports the efforts of the E3+3 in promoting dialogue and diplomacy, and hopes that Iran will take the necessary measures to build and sustain international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.
“In doing so, it is important for Iran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, including on the implementation of the recent agreement between Iran and the IAEA during the visit of the IAEA Director-General to Iran,” the spokesperson added.