Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held an hour-long meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry and other diplomats from the permanent United Nations Security Council Countries on Thursday.
This is the highest-level talk Iran has held in 36 years on the country’s controversial nuclear arms program, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Zarif said the West must ease sanctions on Iran moving forward. “In the endgame, there has to be a total lifting of all sanctions,” he stated. “We hope to be able to move in that direction within a short span of time.”
Kerry said Zarif’s presentation was “very different in tone and very different in the vision that he held out with respect to the possibilities of the future.”
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Kerry also had a direct meeting with Zarif for 30 minutes.
Afterwards, speaking with the Asia Society, Zarif said, “We agreed to jump start the process so that we can move forward.”
“We need to agree to the parameters of the endgame for Iran’s nuclear program in one year,” Zarif added.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been applauded for attending the U.N. meeting in New York and breaking the tension between Iran and the West, which his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad worked so tirelessly to maintain.
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Rouhani said Thursday that disarmament “remains our highest priority.”
“As long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of their use, threat of use and proliferation persist,” he told the U.N. General Assembly on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. “The only absolute guarantee is their total elimination.”