Iran Nuclear Talks Resume May 23 in Baghdad, Ashton Says

Talks with Iran on its nuclear program will resume May 23 in Baghdad, Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said.

“We’re looking for the next meeting to move us forward in a very concrete way,” Ashton told reporters after talks today in Istanbul. Ashton, the lead negotiator for the so-called P5+1 group, said today’s discussions were “constructive” and “useful.”

Representatives of the the U.S. and European allies met with Iran’s nuclear envoy, Saeed Jalili, against a backdrop of tightening economic sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to curb its nuclear program. Israel and the U.S. have raised the prospect of military action against Iran if agreement can’t be reached.

While Jalili said “we witnessed progress” in today’s talks, he added that pressure on Iran won’t work.

“One of the issues that should be taken into consideration, and is the request of the Iranian people, is the removal of sanctions,” he said.

Iran met with the group that comprises the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S -- plus Germany.

The U.S. and EU have said Iran may be seeking the capability to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is for civilian purposes only.

Iran’s motto is, “Nuclear bombs for none, and nuclear energy for all,” Jalili said today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Emre Peker in Istanbul at epeker2@bloomberg.net; Benjamin Harvey in Istanbul at bharvey11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

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