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Kerry asks Iran to be serious at nuclear talks

Last Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 09:54

Washington: Ahead of talks between Iran and six world powers, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday asked Tehran to engage in a real dialogue to address the concerns of the international community on its nuclear weapons programme.

"The talks between the P-5+1 and Iran will resume in Kazakhstan later this month. I want to reiterate that these talks can only make progress if the Iranians come to the table determined to make and discuss real offers and engage in a real dialogue. It is important that we do that," Kerry told reporters during a joint media availability with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"And I have said before and I will repeat again: Countries that have peaceful programs do not have problems proving to people that they are peaceful. So we are not going to get trapped into a delay-after-delay process here," he said.

"It`s important to engage, and I think it is incumbent on the Iranians to prove that they are prepared to meet our willingness, President Obama`s willingness, again and again stated by the President, to be open to a diplomatic resolution here," Kerry said.

Ban hoped that the P-5+1 meetings in Kazakhstan later next month will bring fruitful progress.

Responding to North Korea`s nuclear tests, Kerry Pyongyang`s action warrants a strong and credible response from the international community.

"With respect to North Korea, this week`s test was an enormously provocative act that warrants a strong, a swift, and a credible response from the global community," Kerry said.

"I want to echo the Security Council`s statement that this test is a clear threat to peace and security in the world. In the days ahead, Mr Secretary General, we`re going to ramp up our coordination with the Six-Party partners, with the Security Council and other UN members, and other allies and partners in order to guarantee that we respond appropriately," Kerry said.

Ban said the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea, was a direct challenge to the international community.

"I have repeatedly called on the leadership of Pyongyang to give up its pursuit of nuclear programs and to instead focus on building a better future for the country`s people by addressing dire humanitarian and human rights situations," he said.

"I encourage the Security Council to act with unity and to take appropriate measures as soon as possible. I count on Secretary of State`s strong leadership as was stated just now," Ban said.

Meanwhile, the White House hoped that the Iranian regime will make the strategic decision to come to the P5-plus-1 talks on February 26th in Kazakhstan prepared to discuss substance, so that there can be progress in addressing the international community`s concerns about the nature of the Iranian nuclear program.

"The United States certainly remains ready to do so," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters in a press gaggle.

Earnest said the US is well aware of Iran`s aggressive efforts in violation of its UN Security Council Resolution obligation to obtain sensitive materials for its uranium-enrichment program.

"The unprecedented international sanctions put in place against Iran are not only designed to crystallize the choice for the Iranian regime regarding its nuclear program, but also to deter and disrupt Iranian procurement of components to support its nuclear program," he said.

"The international restrictions have choked the supply of critical components for Iran`s nuclear program so that Iran today falls far short of the goals it set for itself and its nuclear programme only a few years ago," Earnest said.


First Published: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 09:54
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