Iran Talks Finish First Day Amid Signals of Optimism

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 15, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

Ir­an and six key gov­ern­ments signaled early op­tim­ism on the first day of a closely watched nuc­le­ar meet­ing on Tues­day, the state-run Fars News Agency re­por­ted.

Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif opened the two-day dis­cus­sion in Geneva with a slideshow brief­ing thought to de­tail a pro­posed timeline for trust-boost­ing steps over its dis­puted nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies, the Lon­don Guard­i­an re­por­ted. The sides are seek­ing to re­solve in­ter­na­tion­al fears that secret nuc­le­ar-bomb am­bi­tions are guid­ing Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram; Tehran in­sists the atom­ic ef­fort is non­mil­it­ary in nature.

“There is a pos­it­ive at­mo­sphere. … The first re­ac­tions were good,” Re­u­ters quoted Ir­a­ni­an Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Ab­bas as say­ing after Za­rif’s morn­ing dis­cus­sion.

Un­dis­closed de­tails from the for­eign min­is­ter’s talk — titled “Clos­ing an un­ne­ces­sary crisis: Open­ing new ho­ri­zons” — could in­clude pro­pos­als to re­strict cer­tain Ir­a­ni­an nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies, ac­cord­ing to the Guard­i­an. In re­turn, Tehran would likely ex­pect the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many to curb in­ter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ic pen­al­ties and af­firm the Per­sian Gulf power’s right to en­rich urani­um, the news­pa­per said.

A spokes­man for European Uni­on for­eign policy chief Cath­er­ine Ashton said Za­rif’s dis­cus­sion was “very use­ful.”

The top Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mat met one-on-one with Ashton after mul­ti­lat­er­al talks ended for the day, Fars News re­por­ted. Ashton has com­mu­nic­ated with Ir­an on be­half of the six oth­er ne­go­ti­at­ing powers: China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States.

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