Tehran: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Friday expressed "high hopes" that a new round of nuclear talks in Moscow this month will succeed if world powers come with a "positive" approach.

The foreign minister acknowledged that Iran and the P5+1 group will face "difficult negotiations" at the June 18-19 talks in Moscow, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

But Salehi said the Islamic republic remains optimistic saying the "direction" of the talks so far has been good.

"In any case it is difficult negotiations and both parties should act and accelerate this process in a way so this case bears fruit as soon as possible satisfying both parties," Salehi told IRNA.

"The direction (of the talks) is correct and given this we have high hopes on the negotiations success," he added.

Iran and the P5+1, which comprise the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, have previously met in April in Istanbul and again in May in Baghdad.

"We hope that in the Moscow meeting the other party enters the talks with a positive approach," Salehi said.

At the May 23-24 talks in Baghdad the negotiations exposed a gulf between the two sides' positions that looked almost unbridgeable, and nearly caused the talks to collapse.
The priority issue for the P5+1 going into the Moscow round is convincing Iran to give up enriching uranium to 20 percent purity and hand over its 20-percent stock in a fuel-swap deal.

Uranium enriched to 20 percent is just a few technical steps short of bomb-grade 90 percent uranium.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday told France 24 television that his country viewed 20 percent enrichment as "one of our rights in terms of international law."

He hinted that Iran might still negotiate on that issue, but only if the P5+1 greatly sweetened its offer.

Salehi, who was Iran's atomic programme chief, reiterated the Islamic republic's position that Tehran scrupulously adheres to the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"We (Iran) are exerting all our efforts so the NPT can act as prevention of non-peaceful nuclear activities in the world and we consider in the interest of the Islamic republic and we are emphasising on it," Salehi said.


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