The spokesman for the European Union(EU) Foreign Policy chief has announced the readiness of P5 + 1 group of world powers for a new round of talks with Iran.
"We are in touch with the Iranian side," said Michael Mann, spokesman for Catherine Ashton. "We stand ready to resume negotiations as soon as possible," he added. Ashton represents the P5+1 group - comprising five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. In a phone conversation with Iran’s new Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last month, Ashton said the group was ready to resume negotiations with Iran as soon as the administration of President Hassan Rouhani appoints the country’s negotiating team. On Thursday, the Iranian president officially assigned the Foreign Ministry to take charge of future nuclear talks with the P5+1 group. The negotiations were previously conducted by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC). Iran and the P5+1 have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues, with the main focus being on Tehran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides wrapped up their latest round of negotiations in April in the Kazakh city of Almaty. An earlier meeting had been held in Almaty in February. The US, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran has categorically rejected the allegations, saying that its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful and in line with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory. Meanwhile, numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency have never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been diverted toward non-civilian purposes.