World powers will bring new offer to Iran talks: Britain

5th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

Britain said Tuesday that world powers would make an "updated and credible" offer when talks resume with Iran on its disputed nuclear programme this month.

Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed an announcement made earlier Tuesday that a deadlock over the date and venue of the negotiations had been resolved and they had agreed to meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 26.

He said the "need to make progress is increasingly urgent" in the talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany.

"We will approach the talks in Almaty with an updated and credible offer for Iran. The onus is on Iran to respond seriously and turn its declared willingness to negotiate into concrete action," Hague said.

Iran is continuing to enrich uranium in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions "and on a scale that has no plausible civilian explanation", added Britain's top diplomat.

"We want to work with Iran, in the spirit of mutual respect, on the concrete steps needed to address the international community's serious concerns about its nuclear programme," he said.

The agreement to resume the talks was made in a telephone conversation between the offices of Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the official IRNA news agency reported.

There were three rounds of negotiations last year.

The talks aim to address a key Western concern about Iran's capacity to enrich uranium to fissile purities of 20 percent, a process that can be used for peaceful atomic purposes as well as for making the core of a nuclear bomb.

© 2013 AFP

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