Austria supports nuclear talks with Iran

Austrian President Heinz Fischer has reiterated his support for continuation of talks between major world powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

In an exclusive interview with the Austrian daily Der Standard on Tuesday, Fischer said “We all hope and demand that Iran take credible and transparent steps to settle the dispute over its nuclear program.”

The president also strongly condemned Israeli plans to build thousands of more illegal settler units on the occupied Palestinian territories.

Iran and the six major world powers known as the P5+1 — Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US plus Germany — have held several rounds of talks with the main focus being on Iran’s nuclear energy program.

On January 4, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili said the Islamic Republic has agreed to resume talks with six major world powers about the country’s nuclear energy program.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that its civilian nuclear program has been diverted toward military purposes.

PG/HGH/SS