Iran and EU to continue nuclear talks in January

21st December 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 December 2005, VIENNA - Iran and European Union representatives agreed Wednesday to continue talks on Iran's nuclear programme next month, after five hours of talks in Vienna. Representatives of the three EU states involved - Britain, Germany and France - said all would be consulting their governments on what were described as initial talks to sound out latest positions. Iran's UN Ambassador in Vienna, Mohammed Akhondsadeh, said the talks had been open and clear, with the aim of creating a framework for

21 December 2005

VIENNA - Iran and European Union representatives agreed Wednesday to continue talks on Iran's nuclear programme next month, after five hours of talks in Vienna.

Representatives of the three EU states involved - Britain, Germany and France - said all would be consulting their governments on what were described as initial talks to sound out latest positions.

Iran's UN Ambassador in Vienna, Mohammed Akhondsadeh, said the talks had been open and clear, with the aim of creating a framework for fresh negotiations.

Observers said the EU side was seeking to establish whether there was any possibility of reopening negotiations with Iran on getting it to call off uranium enrichment. Iran broke off the dialogue last August.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had said earlier Wednesday Iran would "not agree to any conditions whatsoever" for the resumption of talks with the EU.

Mottaki, speaking in Tehran, said Iran was not interested in "talks about talks" but in discussing how to keep nuclear technology within the country.

Iran would insist on its right to enrich uranium, he said.

The Iranian representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Mohammed Akhondzadeh, said earlier both sides had "openly" stated their positions and the atmosphere in which the talks were held was "good".

Before the talks, the Iranian foreign minister said Iran was also keen to discuss the construction of centrifuge machines, necessary for uranium enrichment.

Mottaki also said that if the E.U. team was "serious", the talks could continue at ministerial level in the New Year.

Reports said that diplomats from Germany, France and Britain wanted to sound out whether the Tehran government was willing to refrain from enriching uranium inside Iran.

The West wants to prevent Iran producing highly enriched uranium which could be used for the manufacture of atomic bombs. In return, the Europeans are said to have offered Tehran a comprehensive agreement on cooperation.

In advance of the new talks, sources dampened all-too great hopes of progress. The Iranian government had previously said it would propose uranium enrichment taking place in Iran itself, but with international participation.

So far this proposal has not been acceptable to Europe and the United States.

DPA

Subject: German news

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