Ahead of UN General Assembly

U.S. Welcomes Iran 'Commitment' to Discussing Nuclear Program

Statement follows EU announcement that Mohammad Javad Zarif will join a meeting of the six powers on the sidelines of the UN conference on Wednesday, which Secretary of State Kerry will also attend.

The United States is ready to work with Iran's new centrist president, Hassan Rohani, if his administration engages seriously in efforts to resolve the long-running standoff over Tehran's nuclear program, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

"Secretary [of State John] Kerry welcomes the Foreign Minister's commitment to a substantive response and to his agreement to meeting in the short term with permanent UN Security Council members and Germany coordinated by EU High Representative [Catherine] Ashton to discuss the nuclear program," State Department Jen Psaki said.

Earlier on Monday, the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will join a meeting of the six powers on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Ashton said she was surprised by Zarif's energy and determination, adding: "We had a good and constructive discussion."

Secretary of State John Kerry will also attend Thursday's meeting, which will focus on the continuation of negotiations regarding the Iran's nuclear program. This will be the first meeting between Kerry and his Iranian counterpart in many years. The foreign ministers from Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France will represent their countries at the meeting.