Top Iranian negotiator arrives in Geneva for nuclear talks

5th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Iran's chief negotiator Saed Jalili arrived in Geneva on Sunday ahead of talks on the country's nuclear programme with the EU's top diplomat Catherine Ashton and six world powers, Iranian media said.

Jalili, secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, was accompanied by his deputy, Ali Bagheri, and deputy foreign minister for Europe, Ali Ahani.

The two-day talks between the Iranians and Ashton, who is backed by Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, from Monday will mark the end of a 14-month break due to Tehran's rejection of a proposal to exchange nuclear fuel for enrichment.

Iranian leaders have reiterated in recent days that the country's plans for uranium enrichment were non negotiable.

Tehran, which faces international sanctions, maintains that it is seeking nuclear energy for peaceful purposes but Western countries have accused the Islamic republic of engaging in a covert programme to build nuclear weapons.

Iran claimed Sunday it had produced a first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material for enrichment, in a move it said "strengthens" its position before the talks with world powers.

Iranian atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said that the Islamic republic was now "self-sufficient" in the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

© 2010 AFP

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