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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Notes to correspondents

Note to Correspondents -- Secretary-General's trip to Iran

Tehran, Iran, 29 August 2012

The Secretary-General arrived in Iran on Wednesday and had a series of meetings with Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Imam Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Soon after arriving in Tehran, the Secretary-General first held talks at the Parliament Building with the Speaker, Ali Larijani, and other officials.

And later, the Secretary-General had an extensive encounter with President Ahmadinejad which was followed by his meeting with the Supreme Leader.
He also had a meeting with Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

In all these meetings, the Secretary-General 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.
In his meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Secretary-General thanked him for the invitation to the Non-Aligned Movement Summit.

On the nuclear question, the Secretary-General said he has been following closely Iran’s talks with the P5+1. He said he regretted that little tangible progress has been achieved so far during these intensive talks and that the talks needed to be serious and substantive.

He said that Iran needed to take concrete steps to address the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency and prove to the world that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

He said that there is no alternative to peaceful, diplomatic and negotiated settlement which should be reached step by step and based on reciprocity.

The Secretary-General has made the same point on the nuclear question to the Supreme Leader.

On Syria, the Secretary-General urged both the President and the Supreme Leader in separate meetings to use Iran’s influence to impress upon the Syrian leadership the urgent need for the violence to stop and to create the condition for a credible dialogue and a genuine political process that meets the will of the Syrian people.

And the Secretary-General reiterated his opposition to the further militarization of the conflict and he called on all States to stop supplying arms to all sides in Syria.

On human rights, the Secretary-General in his meeting with the President said that the human rights situation in Iran remains a source of concern. He said fundamental, civil and political rights should be respected. He also mentioned in his meeting with the President, and separately with the Supreme Leader, that he strongly objected to recent remarks from Iranian officials denying the Holocaust and Israel’s right to exist. He said that such offensive and inflammatory statements were unacceptable and should be condemned by all.

The Secretary-General has had similar exchanges with the Speaker of Parliament and with Mr. Jalili, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. The talks with Mr. Jalili focused primarily on the nuclear file.