Iran nuclear talks 'positive' after 15-month break


Michael Mann, EU foreign policy spokesman: ''The important thing is that the mood is good"

Key talks on Iran's controversial nuclear programme, which have resumed after a 15-month impasse, have been described as "positive" and "totally different" from the last meeting.

Six world powers - the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany - and Iran are meeting in Istanbul in Turkey.

Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful, but critics suspect it of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Israel has hinted in recent months that it may carry out a pre-emptive strike.

Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said of the talks: "There is a positive atmosphere... contrasting with the last time."

The BBC's James Reynolds, in Istanbul, says the envoys had earlier set the bar pretty low - saying they did not expect detailed, substantive proposals from either side.

What they wanted to see, he says, was whether Iran was ready to seriously engage and, if that happened, there might be another round of talks in four to six weeks time.

'Renewing confidence'

After a two-and-a-half-hour morning session, there was general agreement among the six world powers, known collectively as the P5+1, that there had been progress.

Mr Mann said: "The principles for future talks seem to be there."

Start Quote

The fact that Iran built an underground bunker in secret, then kept changing its stated purpose, worries Western observers”

End Quote Mohsen Asgari and James Reynolds BBC News

One diplomat told Associated Press that Iran appeared ready to discuss its uranium enrichment programme and that the Iranian team had referred to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's "fatwa" on nuclear arms.

Another session later in the day involves bilateral meetings, possibly including a rare US-Iran encounter.

Ahead of the talks, Baroness Ashton said she hoped they would be "the beginnings of a sustained process".

"What we are here to do is to find ways in which we can build confidence between us and ways in which we can demonstrate that Iran is moving away from a nuclear weapons programme."

Chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili said the talks would "serve the dignity of the Iranian nation".

US President Barack Obama earlier described this as a "last chance" for diplomacy to work.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalil, Istanbul, 14 April Baroness Ashton, with Saeed Jalili, said she hoped for a lasting process

The P5+1 hope eventually to persuade Iran to reduce its enrichment of uranium and fully open up its nuclear facilities to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

There are suggestions that the stringent sanctions on Iran could be reduced if it complies with the requests.

The last series of international talks broke down in January 2011 after the parties failed to agree on any issues.

Since then, the IAEA expressed concern that Iran had failed to co-operate with its inspectors and had carried out activities "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device".

Israel, which believes a nuclear-capable Iran would be a direct threat to its security, has warned that time is running out to prevent that outcome.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would never allow Israelis to "live in the shadow of annihilation", and hinted his country is ready to strike Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomacy does not work soon.

President Obama has warned against "loose talk of war", while stressing that all options remain open.

Key nuclear sites map

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  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    @94. U14761436 And if you believe US rhetoric, please google Sibel Edmonds.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    It's none of our business

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.


    "Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful", Iran is a theocratic Islamic republic, if you believe them then please google: Taqiyya & Kitman!


  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    For the sake of everyone it`s crucial that these talks succeed. The west must learn to trust and Iran must allow inspectors in. Were you to ask the people of these countries they would want rid of nuclear weapons once and for all, it`s governments that are holding progress back.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Iran id not building a bomb that much is clear... and all 16 US intelligence agencies agree with me. America (and Israel) fear Iran because they threaten to break free of US hegemony in the region and the sooner that happens, the better

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    USA has nuclear weapons and is totally unstable. They lurch from one invasion to another, bombing the place to pieces and then walking away from the mess and suffering. Israel also has nuclear weapons and also bombs children with impunity.

    So what right have they to judge other countiries?

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    All nuclear weapons should be scrapped.The nuclear amnesia that exists due to the climate change panic has almost turned nukes into a weapon of history and not a weapon to be noticed.People don`t understand the effect of radiation from a bomb and a few inches in raised sea levels due to a rise in carbon dioxide.I know which i would prefere.
    I believe iran is`nt building a bomb.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Talking with the Iranian mullahs is a complete waste of time. This is all part of the Islamic ideal of taking over the world, starting with the Middle East and then Europe. The Israelis are the only ones who are talking the right language. Appeasing these people will result in disaster.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    IMO unless Iran opens up and proves it is not making nuclear weaponary beyond doubt,then it will have nuclear weapons and all their lethal force anyway when Israel blows up all their nuclear sites bombproof or not.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Given that the situation between Israel and Iran exists and cannot be made to unexist, then the question, surely, is;
    Which is more likely to escalate tensions into full scale conflict? Iran continuing its nuclear program or Israel bombing said program out of existence?
    It seems one scenario presents a theoretical possibility of future nuclear conflict, the other the threat of WWIII imminently.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    If the only objective here is to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons, why wasn't the same fuss made when other countries like North Korea, India, Pakistan or Israel developed their nuclear deterrents? This seems to be more about securing resources, and spreading US control in the area. And providing yet another big payday for the likes of Haliburton, Lockheed Martin, BAE systems, etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    79. Free Willy

    Oh so Iran's nuclear program is actually Israels fault.

    Nothing to do with Iran and the UN.

    Strange logic.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    A country that accuses pigeons and other animals of "spying" for the west is clearly not stable enough to possess nuclear weapons!

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Why is everyone afraid of Iran gaining a Nuclear Weapon, haven't you people ever heard of deterrence?
    Even if they get their hands on ONE nuclear missle, America will still have plenty more and most countries will. No one in Iran would press the button to wipe out Israel because no one wants to be known as the person who set Israel in flames and they are afraid of retaliation from other countries

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    It is ironic that people who support Iran developing its nuclear weapon in the name of equality, are actually promoting a world with even more 'dirty' weapons. I believe no more countries should trigger the production of this kind of weaponry. If Iran makes its own nuke then many other would follow suit within a few years time . Remember Saudi-Arabia for example. Do we really need this?

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.


    "Hmmmm... not really true is it? How come people bring Israel into it....only Israel and exclusively Israel?"

    The current situation is driven by Israel.They have threatened to attack Iran.This makes them inextricably linked to the situation & therefore relevant to the debate.Again you use hints of anti-semitism to further your position.I guess old habits die hard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Iran has a nuclear neighbor, Pakistan, which has a long lasting dispute with another nuclear state, India. It is also know that Israel has nuclear technology, long-range ballistic missiles, and has not signed The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty either. All permanent members of the UN Security Council also have nuclear weapons... So when it comes to Iran It's horrific? Come on, such a hypocrisy!

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


Page 23 of 27


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