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Iran and world powers must build confidence: Larijani

Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, gestures during a news conference after the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, gestures during a news conference after the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran and world powers should focus on confidence-building at next week's talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear program, Iran's parliamentary speaker said on Wednesday.

Ali Larijani, a former nuclear negotiator, declined to say whether Iran would bring any concessions to the October 15-16 talks in Geneva, but said: "It mostly concerns building confidence rather than a commercial give-and-take.

"The negotiations are indeed a window of opportunity, providing the parties are willing to use the window," he told a news conference in Geneva.

Western diplomats are playing down any suggestion that Iran's new openness on the world stage will result in any immediate or broad loosening of sanctions. The talks are with six powers - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany.

"I look at the upcoming negotiations positively," Larijani said. "A handful of countries which until very recently were using sanctions and leveling threats against my country have now opted for a political solution to the whole matter. This change in itself is positive."

"If the collective will is at work here, if it takes up a political solution over others, then finding a resolution to the whole problem would not be that difficult a task," he said, in remarks in Farsi translated into English by an Iranian diplomat.

Larijani, asked what Tehran required in order to normalize relations with the United States, which were broken off following the 1979 Islamic revolution, replied with a broad smile: "They shouldn't sabotage the negotiations."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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