Meeting in Cape Town, The Elders today hailed the positive steps taken in recent weeks on the Iranian nuclear crisis.

The new-found flexibility and seriousness being shown by all sides in tackling the dispute was a source of particular satisfaction.

Looking ahead to the next round of talks in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in November, as well as a planned visit to Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), The Elders called on all parties to maintain the same constructive and determined spirit – with a view to an early resolution of all issues.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General said: "A comprehensive approach is essential, to get to the core of the legitimate concerns that, for many years now, have made this issue one of the most worrisome on the global agenda. All nations have rights and responsibilities in equal measure. You cannot have one without the other.

“This is an historic opportunity that should not be dropped. If the international community can get this right, the possibility of transforming the negative dynamics plaguing the Middle East for the better is the great prize to be won.”

Recognising the potential opposition to a deal that leaders in both the United States and Iran face, The Elders praised the courage being shown by both the Obama Administration and the new Iranian Government headed by President Hassan Rouhani.

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