No breakthrough at Iran-EU talks in Berlin

28th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 September 2006, BERLIN - Talks between the European Union and Iran on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme made progress, but produced no breakthrough, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Thursday. "We have made progress," Solana said at the end of eight hours of talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani. But some issues remained unresolved, the diplomat added after the meeting spread over two days at a German Foreign Ministry guesthouse in Berlin. The aim of the talks was to dec

28 September 2006

BERLIN - Talks between the European Union and Iran on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme made progress, but produced no breakthrough, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Thursday.

"We have made progress," Solana said at the end of eight hours of talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani. But some issues remained unresolved, the diplomat added after the meeting spread over two days at a German Foreign Ministry guesthouse in Berlin.

The aim of the talks was to decide whether there was enough common ground to resume official negotiations on the nuclear issue, Solana said, adding that both sides wanted to get in touch again next week.

Larijani said there had been "some positive outcomes" from the Berlin talks and hoped that formal negotiations could begin as soon as possible.

At Solana's request, Larijani arranged a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before flying home to Tehran on Thursday afternoon.

The Berlin talks formed part of efforts to get the Islamic nation to agree to suspend uranium enrichment activities in line with the wishes of the UN Security Council.

Official negotiations between Iran and the five Security Council permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany are currently at an impasse.

Iran rejects international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment as a precondition for resuming full-scale talks on the nuclear dispute.

A defiant Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that his country would not suspend uranium enrichment.

"We will not give in to impositions and not even suspend the enrichment process for one single day," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Karaj, west of Tehran.

Tehran has also rejected a package of incentives offered during the summer by the major powers, in exchange for Iran putting an end to its programme.

Western nations, chief among them the United States, have long charged Iran with planning to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran, however, insists that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it is entitled to pursue a programme of peaceful nuclear energy and has defied a UN resolution calling for a halt to uranium enrichment.

The US State Department on Wednesday said the EU's talks with Iran could last several more weeks. US efforts to win UN Security Council sanctions against Iran if it remains defiant are continuing, but Washington is giving priority to diplomacy for now, a US State Department spokesman said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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