Iran's foreign minister on Wednesday expressed the hope that a meeting with the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany this week will kick-start negotiations to resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.
Asked what he expected from the meeting on Thursday with his counterparts from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, according to Reuters, "a jump-start to the negotiations ... with a view to reaching an agreement within the shortest span."
Speaking after a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Zarif said "the Islamic Republic has the political readiness and political will for serious negotiations and we are hopeful that the opposite side has this will as well."
The meeting on Thursday will be attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, marking the highest-level talks between the United States and Iran since the 1979 revolution.
Iran and the six world powers, collectively known as the P5+1, have held several rounds of talks on Iran’s nuclear program. The last round of talks was held at the start of April in Almaty but failed as did previous rounds.
The powers are seeking answers about a nuclear program that Iran insists is peaceful but world powers fear may hide some military dimensions.
Iran has been offered an easing of the sanctions in exchange for it meeting a series of demands that include curbing enrichment activities.
Thursday’s meeting is expected to be followed by the resumption of nuclear talks in Geneva in October. It will be the first round of talks since Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani took office.
In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Rouhani asserted that his country posed a threat to no one and, while calling for an “end to violence and extremism”, said his country is willing to hold time-bound talks on its nuclear program.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)