World powers, Iran begin nuclear talks

6th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

World powers and Iran began talks in Geneva on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme on Monday, 14 months after negotiations broke off, a Swiss organiser of the meeting said.

"The negotiations have started," said the organiser hosting the talks between Iran and world powers including the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, spearheaded by the EU's top diplomat Catherine Ashton.

Just a day ahead of the talks, Tehran raised the stakes by revealing that it had mined and produced its first home-grown batch of uranium yellowcake -- the raw material for enrichment -- instead of seeking to import new supplies.

"We are expecting a serious response from the Iranians," said a diplomat close to the world powers, noting however, that the agenda for the talks have not been fixed and that this would among first items to be broached.

"We do not know what is Iran's state of mind," added the diplomat.

This round of talks aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear ambition is scheduled to last two days, and began with heads of delegations all sitting around a table.

© 2010 AFP

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