Iran, EU to hold general talks in December

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said an Iranian delegation composed of deputy foreign ministers are to hold general talks with European Union (EU) officials in Brussels in December.

Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced the prospective negotiations on Monday, saying the talks will cover a range of issues, possibly human rights, but asserted that the delegation would not be comprising a human rights team, Press TV reported.

“Our ties with Europe are fundamental and age-old and we have numerous commonalities and can even differ on issues that have to do with values and regional affairs,” he said.

Talks between Iran and Europe have existed in the past, too, and “given the inherent capacities of Iran and the capacities of Europe, they will continue,” Qassemi said.

“Our outlook on the issue of human rights through [the prism of] Islam has a special characteristic, which may not be comprehensible to some of them (the Europeans); [but] we can hear about their outlook and tell them about ours, too,” the Iranian official said.

Qassemi further said that the Islamic Republic had generally maintained good relations with most European countries, with the exception of the past years, during which sanctions had put relations in a certain condition.

“Today, with the removal of the sanctions, the two sides are engaging in recurrent consultations in different areas,” he said.

Iran has been invited to hold talks with Europe on higher levels, he said, and added that such negotiations would take place in the due course.

Close engagement between major players in Europe led to the conclusion of a nuclear accord with Iran in Vienna in July 14, 2015. The agreement, to which the United States, Russia, and China were also parties, ended 12 years of a dispute with Iran over its peaceful nuclear program.

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