Iran raises hopes of nuke trade-off to halt oil curbs

  • Agencies, Istanbul
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2012 23:53 IST

The first session of negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme have concluded with delegates praising the constructive dialogue and Iran's positive attitude.

Representatives of six world powers – the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain – met senior Iranian officials for the first time in 15 months for talks aimed at calming deepening tensions over Tehran’s nuclear work.

“They met in a constructive atmosphere,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the powers in dealings with Iran. “We had a positive feeling that they did want to engage.”

According to diplomats, the session was opened by Ashton, who spent 15 minutes recalling the history of the off-on talks between Iran and the international community on the Iranian programme. Saeed Jalili, Iran’s negotiator replied positively.

One diplomat present told the Guardian that his response “was not long or bombastic or propagandistic. The tone was calm and constructive. He said he was ready to seriously engage on the Iranian nuclear issue”.

In previous meetings Jalili refused to discuss the nuclear programme until economic sanctions were lifted.

A second session of talks was scheduled later on Saturday. Diplomats expect Tehran to lay out “new initiatives” to push forward negotiations.


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