Iran nuclear talks in Turkey underway

The delegations met behind closed doors at Ciragan, an Ottoman palace on the banks of the Bopshorus.

Iran nuclear talks in Turkey underway

Turkey is on Friday hosting nuclear talks between Iran and world powers to resolve tensions over its nuclear programme.

The delegations met behind closed doors at Ciragan, an Ottoman palace on the banks of the Bopshorus.

The Iranian delegation was led by the country's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.

EU policy chief Catherine Ashton represented the so-called P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany.

"Discussion to lift sanctions"

Ahead of the Istanbul talks, the United States spoke of imposing harsher unilateral sanctions, while Russia reiterated its view the prospects for rolling back sanctions should be discussed.

However, Russia has also called for discussions on lifting UN sanctions on Tehran during the two-day talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Russia said unilateral sanctions were "spoilers" and the talks in Istanbul should look at ways of rolling back sanctions.

"We explained to our partners in the United States and the European Union what we think about unilateral sanctions and we hope they have heard us," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a joint news conference with Turkey's foreign minister.

"It is counterproductive to continue our common efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue."

Lavrov said, in other remarks relayed through a translator, that if all sides could agree in Istanbul on the approach for future talks on unresolved problems surrounding Iran's nuclear programme, it would be "a good result".

"But this meeting doesn't have just one topic. Cancelling the sanctions against Iran should also be discussed."

Lavrov said it would be an important first step if a nuclear fuel swap deal was implemented.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on major powers to lift sanctions imposed on his country if they wanted to see progress in the talks.

"Reviving fuel swap deal"

Going into the Istanbul talks, Iranian officials said they were ready to discuss reviving a swap agreement based on one brokered last year with Brazil and Turkey in Tehran, which was rejected by the Western powers.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday the United States was willing to discuss an updated fuel swap proposal, if it reflected the progress Tehran's has made on uranium enrichment in the two years since the idea was floated.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met separately with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, Anadolu news agency said.

The United States said Thursday it was seeking a "meaningful process" in addressing Iran's nuclear programme and wanted to see tangible results from the meeting.

"We seek to launch a meaningful and practical process that addresses the core issues with Iran's nuclear programme," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters in a statement.

A first round of talks between Iran and the world powers were held in early December in Geneva, breaking a 14-month hiatus in the negotiations.


Agencies

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2011, 11:14
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