Europe, the U.S. and Iran all reiterated their previous negotiating stances, which led to a yearlong breakdown in talks, before a new round of meetings on the Iranian nuclear program next week in Geneva.
The U.S., along with France, Germany and the U.K. will tell Iran that suspending its nuclear work must be part of any ultimate bargain, according to statements delivered at the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran will tell these nations, along with China and Russia, to drop United Nations sanctions, Iranian IAEA ambassador Aliasghar Soltanieh said late yesterday at a briefing in Vienna during a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors.
The two-day talks, beginning in Geneva on Dec. 6, are the first negotiations since October 2009, when meetings included one-on-one discussions between Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns. Burns and Jalili will each head their respective delegations at next week’s meeting.
Last year, Burns had a conversation with Jalili on the sidelines of a meeting in Geneva, Philip J. Crowley, the State Department spokesman, told reporters in Washington, and “wouldn’t rule out something like that might happen again.”
“Iran’s failure to comply with its obligations represents a fundamental challenge to the integrity of the international nonproliferation regime,” U.S. IAEA Ambassador Glyn Davies said in a statement. “We would like to arrive at an early negotiated resolution of international concerns with Iran’s nuclear program.”
Iran’s nuclear program, which has drawn four sets of United Nations sanctions, is at the center of the European Union-led talks in Geneva. Iran has the world’s second-largest oil and natural gas reserves and says it’s producing uranium to fuel nuclear reactors. The U.S. and Europe accuse Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons.
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