AFP: The United States on Friday called on Iran to show “seriousness” in nuclear talks in Turkey, after Tehran warned it was discouraged by the approach of Western nations. WASHINGTON (AFP)— The United States on Friday called on Iran to show “seriousness” in nuclear talks in Turkey, after Tehran warned it was discouraged by the approach of Western nations.
After a 15-month hiatus, officials from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany (known as the P5+1) will meet with Iranian counterparts in Istanbul on Saturday.
The Obama administration has said there is still time for diplomacy to end the Iranian nuclear crisis, but warns the window is closing, as speculation continues about the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran.
US deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said on Air Force One that Washington wanted a “positive environment” in the talks with Tehran showing “seriousness” about moving forward with dialogue.
“I think nobody expects to resolve all differences in one meeting but what we want is a positive environment where the Iranian government demonstrates its seriousness and its commitment to pursuing serious negotiations,” he said.
Rhodes said that the onus was on the Iranians to demonstrate how they could “build confidence” with the international community by living up to commitments to disclose details of what the West believes is a nuclear weapons program.
“If they do, we would certainly explore reciprocal actions that are responsive to concrete steps by the Iranians,” Rhodes said.
Iran said earlier that its hopes of a breakthrough at the talks had taken a dive after warnings from the West that Tehran had to prove its credibility.
“So far the Iranian delegation finds the Western position as stated during the G8 meeting (on Thursday) and expressed in the media disappointing and discouraging,” a source close to Tehran’s delegation told AFP.
In a statement issued in Washington on Thursday, G8 foreign ministers said: “Iran’s persistent failure to comply with its obligations… and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors resolutions is a cause of urgent concern.”
Western powers want Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, ship out its existing stocks and open itself up to more intense inspections.
The United States and its allies have imposed increasingly severe economic sanctions on the Islamic republic to pressure it to halt its activities, notably uranium enrichment.
Iran denies its nuclear program is intended to produce weapons.