Sumario: 14 April, 2012, Istanbul - Remarks by European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton before E3+3 talks with Iran
I am extremely pleased that we are here in Istanbul. This is an important opportunity for Iran to discuss with the E3+3 countries, who have been invited by the Security Council to try and find ways through our concerns about the nuclear weapons programme that we believe Iran is moving towards.
Last evening I had dinner with Dr Jalili who is my counterpart and today we will sit in session with the Iranians, with the political directors of the 6 countries of the E3+3 in order to see if we can make some progress. I hope what we will see today is the beginnings of a sustained process. What we are here to do is to find ways in which we can build confidence between us and ways in which we can demonstrate that Iran is moving away from a nuclear weapons programme.
I have been in discussion with my colleagues from the different countries about what we might do, but much depends on what Iran is putting on the table today.
We came here over a year ago with two sets of proposals. First of all what we would call confidence building measures. Things that Iran could do especially to give greater access to the inspectors but also to demonstrate their commitment to civil nuclear power to which they are entitled under the Non Proliferation Treaty which is a treaty of course they signed and a treaty which must be respected. We have also talked to them about what we call a Tehran research reactor which is indeed their capacity to have civil nuclear power and provide in medical terms for the kind of nuclear equipment that they might need. They didn't respond to those proposals then but they remain on the table.
The atmosphere last evening between myself and Dr Jalili was very good. We have to wait and see what happens now.
The statement will be later available as well on Europe by Satellite (EBS): http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm