Iran, U.N. Powers Pore Over Details in Atomic Standoff

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
June 6, 2014, 10:28 a.m.

Ir­an fin­ished ex­pert talks with six oth­er coun­tries on obstacles to end­ing an en­trenched nuc­le­ar dis­pute by Ju­ly, the Is­lam­ic Re­pub­lic News Agency re­ports.

“The Wed­nes­day and Thursday in­tens­ive, tech­nic­al ne­go­ti­ations were fo­cused on tech­nic­al de­tails, which were sur­veyed painstak­ingly,” Ham­id Baeed­ine­jad, Ir­an’s top del­eg­ate to the two-day meet­ing in Vi­enna, said in com­ments re­por­ted by the state-run news or­gan­iz­a­tion.

“The res­ults of this tech­nic­al round of talks will be de­livered to the top of­fi­cials of the two sides,” the Ir­a­ni­an en­voy said.

The gath­er­ing was in­ten­ded as pre­par­a­tion for a high­er-level meet­ing of Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mats and their coun­ter­parts from China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States. Those of­fi­cials, who are slated to be­gin sev­er­al days of talks on June 16, are pur­su­ing an agree­ment that would grant Tehran sanc­tions re­lief in re­turn for po­ten­tially lim­it­ing activ­it­ies feared in Wash­ing­ton and oth­er cap­it­als to be geared to­ward nuc­le­ar-weapons de­vel­op­ment.

Their most re­cent high-level meet­ing con­cluded in May with neither side re­port­ing sig­ni­fic­ant pro­gress, des­pite their stated aim to reach a long-term deal be­fore an in­ter­im ac­cord is sched­uled to ex­pire on Ju­ly 20.

Tehran re­portedly dug in on de­mands last month for ro­bust nuc­le­ar cap­ab­il­it­ies un­der a po­ten­tial deal, in part by press­ing to re­tain urani­um-en­rich­ment sys­tems suf­fi­cient to fuel its do­mest­ic nuc­le­ar power plant. Ne­go­ti­at­ors from the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many have res­isted such calls, cit­ing the po­ten­tial for the equip­ment to al­tern­at­ively gen­er­ate high­er-pur­ity urani­um for nuc­le­ar bombs.

Ir­an may also have taken a hard stance last month on plans for its un­fin­ished heavy-wa­ter re­act­or. Oth­er coun­tries have aired con­cerns over the Arak site’s po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate weapon-us­able plutoni­um once ac­tiv­ated.

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