UN chief to Iran: Prove nuclear program is peaceful, cease verbal attacks on Israel

August 30, 2012

NITED NATIONS, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday held talks with Iranian leaders on such issues as nuclear standoff, Syria and human rights ahead of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Iran’s capital Tehran, Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here.

Nesirky, who is currently with the secretary-general in Tehran to attend the NAM summit, made the statement to reporters here as he was speaking via a phone connection from Iran.

“The secretary-general arrived in the Islamic Republic of Iran earlier today, he just finished a series of meetings with Iranian officials, including the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” the spokesman said.

Nesirky said that the secretary-general also had a separate meeting with Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani.

“The secretary-general had an extensive encounter with President Ahmadinejad, and that was followed by his meeting with the supreme leader,” the spokesman said.

“In all these meetings, the secretary-general has conveyed the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people,” he said, adding these issues included Iran’s nuclear program, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria.

Ban announced a week ago his decision to attend the NAM summit, slated for Aug. 30-31 in Tehran, despite strong opposition from the United States and its close ally Israel.

Both the American and the Israeli regimes had urged the UN secretary-general to refrain from attending the NAM summit and had even termed Ban’s possible trip to Tehran a “big mistake.”

More than 100 members of the NAM have indicated their willingness to take part in the upcoming NAM summit.

“On the nuclear question, the SG (secretary-general) said he has been following closely with Iran’s talks with the P5+1,” Nesirky said. “He said he regretted that little tangible progress has been achieved so far during those intensive talks and that the talks needed to be serious and substantive.”

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