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Iran, world powers spar during nuke talks in Istanbul

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 16:47

Zeenews Bureau

Istanbul: Iran on Tuesday blamed world powers for dragging their feet in negotiations over its nuclear activities, as both sides began a new round of nuclear talks at the level of technical experts in Istanbul.

Today’s talks aim at exploring common ground for full- fledged talks after previous meetings failed to produce any breakthrough.

Since the negotiations on Tehran`s nuclear program remained deadlocked in the latest meeting held in Moscow on June 19, the P5+ 1 - Britain, China, France, Russia, United States plus Germany - are attempting to take the process further with small steps.

The two sides agreed in Moscow on an early follow-up technical- level meeting in Istanbul to provide a further clarification about the proposals of the world powers, increase the P5+1`s understanding of the Iranian response, and study the issues raised by Tehran during the sessions.

Iran`s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that his country hopes for a win-win outcome in the talks, but he insisted Tehran is entitled to its nuclear rights in reference to uranium enrichment.

This meeting will be followed by exchanges at the deputy-level between Helga Schmid, deputy to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian diplomat Ali Bagheri.
Ashton`s spokesperson Maja Kocijancic said "The choice is Iran`s. We expect Iran to decide on whether it is willing to make the diplomacy work, to focus on reaching an agreement on concrete confidence building steps, and to address the concerns of the international community."

The United States, Israel and some other countries suspect the Iranian nuclear program is a cover for building nuclear weapons. Israel has accused Iran of stretching out the talks to move closer to the ability to make an atomic bomb, and it has threatened to attack Iran as a last resort.
The United States and the EU have imposed several rounds of sanctions to pressure Iran to give up its uranium enrichment activities. On Sunday, an EU oil embargo against Iran took effect, days after some fresh U.S. sanctions started prohibiting the world `s banks from conducting oil transactions with Iran`s banks.

Iran initially responded to the sanctions by threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz but now it appeared to have backed off from that threat.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 16:33

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