Ali Akbar Salehi

Iran’s Foreign Minister says that his proposal to the West to lift some of its sanctions prior to their next round of nuclear talks is meant to speed up the process but it is not a precondition for the meeting.

Ali Akbar Salehi told ISNA on Wednesday: “If the West wants to build confidence, it has to start in the arena of sanctions. Some media have read this statement as a precondition for the Baghdad meeting.”

He added: “Currently our problem is offending mutual trust. We believe we are right because we announced that we are not after nuclear weapons and have spoken firmly on this basis. If there was anything else, we would waiver in our stance.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister went on to say: “They [G5+1] have to show a prelude to confidence building and then they can present certain evidence at the Baghdad talks to push the negotiations ahead faster. If on the other hand they want to delay the issue, it is their choice.”

Salehi added that it was agreed that a step-by-step plan should be adopted to reach a conclusion to the nuclear disputes.

U.S. Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton has suggested, however, that the first step must be taken by Iran in order to push the negotiations ahead.

The U.S. has also said that there will be no easing of sanctions in advance of the May meeting.