|1 year ago :: Mar 07, 2012 - 1:53PM #1|
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, China, and Russia), together with Germany, have accepted an offer to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue. All six nations are demanding that Iran freeze all uranium enrichment. Story here.
Responding to a February letter from Iran's nuclear negotiator proposing new discussions, Catherine Ashton - the EU's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy - called for dialogue that would deliver “real progress.’’ Ashton is the contact for the six-nation group.
Ashton's announcement comes as Iran said has said it would grant UN inspectors access to a military complex where the IAEA suspects secret atomic work has been carried out.
The EU hopes that Iran “will now enter into a sustained process of constructive dialogue which will deliver real progress in resolving the international community’s long-standing concerns on its nuclear program,’’ Ashton said.
The time and venue of the talks have yet to be determined.
The West fears Iran seeks nuclear weapons, and speculation is rife that Israel may launch a pre-emptive strike to set back the program.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary said in a statement that the onus of the talks would “be on Iran to convince the international community that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.’’ “Until those actions are taken we will not ease the international pressure on Iran,’’ he said.
Talks between Iran and the 27-nation EU have been going on inconclusively for several years. The last round of negotiations in January 2011 ended in failure.
Ashton had written Iran's nuclear negotiatior in October, offering a new round of talks toward an agreement that “restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.’’
Merope | Beliefnet Community Manager
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