‘Constructive’ Beginning for Iran Nuclear Talks

Posted April 14th, 2012 at 1:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Iran and six world powers are nearing the end of their first full day of direct talks on Tehran's nuclear program in over a year.

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany had two full sessions in Istanbul on Saturday.

A VOA correspondent in Turkey says Iran also had bilateral talks with China, Russia and Turkey, but turned down a meeting with the United States. Despite that snub, he adds that some western powers believe Iran has shown more of a willingness to discuss nuclear issues than it did at last year's talks.

“They are saying that Iranians are sort of engaging with them and this is what we didn't have back in 2011 when they first met in Istanbul.”

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said earlier that the first round of talks between Iran and the P5 + 1 – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – was “constructive,” laying the groundwork for future talks. Michael Mann said world powers believed Iran was serious about engaging in substantive talks.

Saturday's meetings came at a time of increased tensions between Iran and many Western powers over the nature of Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful. However, the U.N., EU, and world powers including the United States have imposed successive rounds of sanctions on Iran because of concerns that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.


Iran Chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and other diplomats arriving at venue in Istanbul.