Skip to main content

Iran, world powers to huddle at U.N.

By CNN Staff
September 23, 2013 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy in New York September 22, 2013.
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy in New York September 22, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ashton, Iranian diplomat met Monday
  • Iran's nuclear aspirations have been controversial
  • Hassan Rouhani, Iran's president, says: "End unhealthy rivalries"

(CNN) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with the group known as the P5 plus 1 on Thursday during his visit to the United Nations, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Monday.

The P5 plus 1 includes Germany and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain.

There has been friction between Iran and Western nations over the country's nuclear aspirations and Iran's backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in that country's civil war.

But world powers have been searching for ways to tackle both topics.

After Zarif sat down with Ashton on Monday morning, she spoke to reporters about her first face-to-face meeting with the diplomat.

"As you know I spoke to him several times over the summer but this was the first opportunity for us to meet face to face," Ashton said. "We talked about a number of important issues, but focused on the nuclear issue. We had a good and constructive discussion."

She said there will be a "short discussion" at the meeting this week. Ashton said she and Zarif agreed that they will meet in October "with our teams in Geneva" Switzerland.

Zarif was to meet with British Foreign Minister William Hague at 3 p.m. Monday in a closed-door meeting, a Western diplomat confirmed.

Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, has been making overtures toward the West that some analysts term as a charm offensive and others see as an opportunity for the West and Iran to forge a deal on the country's nuclear weapons.

Tehran says it wants to develop nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes, but Western nations have long said that Iran is intent on developing nuclear weapons.

The dispute about why Iran is seeking nuclear capability -- for energy or for bombs -- has prompted international sanctions and escalated concerns about additional warfare in the Middle East.

"We must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart," Rouhani said in an op-ed column last week in the Washington Post.

CNN's Elise Labott and Nick Paton Walsh contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 2206 GMT (0606 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT