A senior American diplomat told a United Nations disarmament committee that the US has “a lot” to talk about in upcoming talks surrounding the international community’s efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.
“We will have a lot of things to discuss and debate this session, from cyber and space security to conventional arms control, from humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons to a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction,” Rose E. Gottemoeller, the acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said at a Wednesday meeting of the UN First Committee focusing on disarmament and international security. “It is critical that we continue our work together.”
After recalling the history of progress over the decades between the US and the former Soviet Union in limiting nuclear testing and reducing stockpiles, Gottemoeller brought up Iran’s nuclear program.
“We should be cautious, but cognizant of potentially historic opportunities,” she said. “We must continue our push to bring Iran back into line with its international nuclear obligations.
“The United States is ready to talk, we are ready to listen, we are ready to work hard, and we hope that every country in this room is ready to join us,” Gottemoeller added. “Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union found it in our mutual interest to work together on reducing the nuclear threat.”
The meeting comes amid a new push for a diplomatic resolution to Iran’s years-long standoff with the West over its nuclear program. The election of relative moderate Hassan Rouhani to the Iranian presidency earlier this year suggested an apparent moderation in the Iranian point of view. During a visit to the US last month to attend the UN General Assembly, Rouhani signaled a readiness to compromise.
Later this month the P5+1 group of nations are scheduled to meet with Iran next month for talks. The P5+1, comprising Britain, France, China, Russia, the United States, and Germany, hopes to convince Tehran to curb its uranium enrichment program in return for an easing of sanctions that were enforced because of concerns over the country’s nuclear activities.
Israel and the West accuse Iran of pursuing a nuclear bomb, while Tehran insists that its program is peaceful.