- (Photo: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazi)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi have announced plans to resume nuclear talks between Iran and the United Nations. The two appeared in a joint press conference in Turkey earlier today.
At a time when sanctions against Iran are increasing and fears of nuclear action are growing, the news comes with hope, says Davutoglu. “We are waiting for a good result coming out of the willingness of the two parties to go back to the negotiating table. As far as negotiations over Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program, we hope that we will gain good results.”
Iran’s agreement with Turkey is a signal that it is willing to cooperate with Western nations, though there are other signals showing a more defensive position. Shamseddin Hosseini, Iran’s finance minister told the IRNA news agency, “The enemies of the Islamic republic’s regime, with all their tricks, have not been able to chain the nation and now they want to chain the economy. These sanctions are an economic war against us.”
The United States and members of the United Nations have agreed to impose serious economic sanctions against Iran, including a possible ban on all oil coming from the country.
Salehi offered his own opinion about the sanctions, saying, “Iran, with divine assistance, has always been ready to counter such hostile actions, and we are not concerned at all about the sanctions. Just as we have weathered the storm in the last 32 years, with the help of God and efforts that we make, we will be able to survive this as well.”
Tensions have grown in the past two weeks due to military drills in the Strait of Hormuz, which is a major port for over 15,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis. Iran also tested two missiles that are capable of hitting Israel and U.S. bases.
Talks between the West and Iran broke down a little over one year ago, with the West coming down against Iran’s nuclear program. Iran claims its program is peaceful and military actions only taken if the country is provoked. Israel, however, is fearful of an attack and has issued pre-emptive threats.
Representatives from the U.N. and Iran will meet in Turkey, which is also hosting talks between Israel and Palestine. Davutoglu also said, “On the international area we hope that Iran will be able to have good ties.” Previously, Iran has been withdrawn and even hostile towards Western countries.