TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian diplomatic official says Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will lead nuclear talks with world powers, taking over from the country’s national security council.
Since the election of centrist Hasan Rouhani as president in June, Iran says it is taking a new approach to negotiations with a six-nation group — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
Iranian officials say they’ll abandon the bombastic language used under Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But they also say Iran will continue its disputed nuclear activities.
“The nuclear dossier has been transferred to the Foreign Ministry,” the official said Tuesday. He spoke anonymously as he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
Iran is under severe international and Western sanctions over its nuclear program, which UN inspectors and many Western officials believe is intended to develop a nuclear weapons capability for the Islamic Republic, in contravention of its signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has claimed its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but has resisted in the past Western demands for oversight of the program.