Iran Calls This Week’s Nuclear-Expert Meetings ‘Useful’

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
March 7, 2014, 8:33 a.m.

An Ir­a­ni­an en­voy said his na­tion held mean­ing­ful tech­nic­al dis­cus­sions with six oth­er na­tions this week on its long-run­ning nuc­le­ar dis­pute, Re­u­ters re­ports.

“The talks are very ser­i­ous and sub­stant­ive and use­ful,” said Ham­id Baeed­ine­jad, Ir­an’s top del­eg­ate to the ses­sion in Vi­enna with spe­cial­ists from the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many. The gath­er­ing star­ted on Wed­nes­day and con­tin­ued in­to Fri­day, and was ex­pec­ted to help lay the ground­work for a high­er-level meet­ing between the sides sched­uled for the week of March 17.

The “P-5+1” na­tions are seek­ing to ad­dress in­ter­na­tion­al con­cerns that Ir­an’s os­tens­ibly peace­ful atom­ic pro­gram is mask­ing the de­vel­op­ment of an arms ca­pa­city. Ir­an in­sists there is no mil­it­ary mo­tiv­a­tion be­hind its nuc­le­ar pro­gram, but Tehran is tak­ing part in the ne­go­ti­ations in a bid to win the elim­in­a­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ic pen­al­ties.

“We re­viewed many top­ics of the nuc­le­ar is­sue, but it is just the be­gin­ning and more ses­sions … will be needed,” the Aus­trali­an As­so­ci­ated Press quoted Baeed­ine­jad as say­ing of this week’s talks.

The dip­lo­mat noted that the meet­ing in­cluded full ex­pert del­eg­a­tions from Ir­an and the oth­er ne­go­ti­at­ing coun­tries — China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States — ac­cord­ing to Ir­an’s state-run Press TV. Earli­er this week, U.S. and Ir­a­ni­an gov­ern­ment sources sug­ges­ted that an in­ter­na­tion­al crisis in­volving Ukraine would not com­prom­ise mul­ti­lat­er­al dia­logue on the nuc­le­ar dis­pute.

The sides opened this week’s three-day tech­nic­al ses­sion by fo­cus­ing on the re­fine­ment of urani­um, and on an un­fin­ished Ir­a­ni­an heavy-wa­ter re­act­or cap­able of gen­er­at­ing plutoni­um. The United States and oth­er West­ern powers fear Ir­an could tap either cap­ab­il­ity to pro­duce fuel for a nuc­le­ar weapon.

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