GENEVA -- Iran’s foreign minister has embarked on a personal effort to promote the international talks over Iran’s
In the video, posted with subtitles in several languages, Zarif says in English that in Iran's presidential elections last June "our people chose constructive engagement through the ballot box. And through this, they gave the world an historic opportunity to change course."
The video, entitled "Iran's Message: There Is a Way Forward," appears aimed at convincing foreign audiences that Iran wants a deal, and also at building support for the initiative at home.
Representatives of Iran and six world powers, including the United States, are believed to be close to a first-stage agreement. This week's negotiations will be the third session in a little more than a month.
"We believe that Iran's enrichment right is nonnegotiable and there is no necessity to recognize it as a right, because it is an inseparable right which should be respected by all sides," Zarif said, according to the government-controlled ISNA news agency.
He said the U.S. stance in opposing Iran's assertion of its legal right "does not mean that they are against Iran's enrichment."
Iran claims that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty gives countries a right to enrich, an assertion that the United States denies. U.S. officials haven't ruled out giving Iran an international blessing for limited, peaceful uranium enrichment. They have said that if Iran takes the many steps required to assure the world it is not seeking a nuclear bomb, it could then bargain for such an authorization.
One diplomat said the six powers might be able to provide a de facto blessing for Iranian enrichment, "but not de jure," because several countries at the table don't believe that the treaty provides that kind of legal authorization.
Although Iran and Russia have been notably upbeat about the talks, U.S. officials have been more cautious, perhaps to avoid ratcheting expectations too high.
Secretary of State