More Effective EU Role in Nuclear Talks

More Effective EU Role in Nuclear Talks
More Effective EU Role in Nuclear Talks

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Europe to play a more active role to help pave the way for reaching a comprehensive deal to resolve the long-running standoff over Tehran's nuclear work.   

He made the remarks in a meeting with new Greek Ambassador to Tehran Georgios Ayfantis on Tuesday, in which he received a copy of the official's credentials, Fars news agency reported.

Referring to the role of EU in the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) on Tehran's nuclear program, Zarif reiterated, "Europe can play a more active part to help (the negotiating parties) reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement."

He also called for expansion of cooperation between the two countries in all fields, particularly in cultural and tourism areas.

He continued, "There are numerous grounds for promotion of ties between both states, and the two sides have showed sufficient resolve to put into action the existing potential in bilateral relations."

Pointing to the recent shooting and hostage-taking incidents in Paris, Zarif stated, "Europe should thoroughly investigate the real causes of violence and extremism as a serious challenge and try to reach a common understanding through close cooperation with the key states in the Middle East region."

Ayfantis, for his part, expressed satisfaction with the growing trend of bilateral relations and said he is hopeful that relations will be increased in all fields.

  Korean Peninsula's Issues

In a separate meeting on Monday, the foreign minister held talks with new North Korean Ambassador to Tehran Kang Sam Hyon and received a copy of his credentials.

Zarif welcomed the North Korean leader's proposal for holding dialogue with South Korea and said, "We believe that the Korean Peninsula's issues should be resolved through peaceful solutions," Fars news agency reported.

The senior diplomat described foreign intervention in the disputes between the two Koreas as unhelpful and said, "Our policy stresses dialogue and avoiding force and military mechanisms."

During his traditional New Year message on January 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is ready for the "highest-level" of talks with neighboring South Korea, days after Seoul proposed such negotiations between the two sides.  

South Korean President Park Geun-hye welcomed the announcement and called on its northern neighbor to show commitment to dialog.

The new ambassador, for his part, said, "I'm honored to begin my mission as the new ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Tehran."

Kang Sam Hyon expressed his country's willingness for expansion of economic ties in addition to political relations between Tehran and Pyongyang.

The official described expansion of Tehran-Pyongyang relations as significant and reiterated, "The meetings of the two countries' officials provide an opportunity for boosting mutual ties."