AFP: Iran’s nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani is likely to meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Spain for talks on resolving the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme, the ILNA news agency reported Saturday.
TEHRAN, May 19, 2007 (AFP) – Iran’s nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani is likely to meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Spain for talks on resolving the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme, the ILNA news agency reported Saturday.
“The second round of talks will most likely be held in Spain,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told ILNA of planned talks between Solana and Larijani, who met in Ankara in April.
Iran has said the two would meet on May 31 to find a way out of the crisis over the nuclear programme, which the West fears could be diverted towards weapons development and which Tehran says is purely peaceful.
The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions against Iran in March after it repeatedly refused to suspend uranium enrichment, but has tasked Solana with trying to re-establish negotiations.
It gave Iran 60 days to suspend enrichment or face further punitive measures, meaning that the latest deadline will expire next week.
Solana’s job is to try to create the conditions for negotiations on a way to tempt Tehran to halt nuclear enrichment in exchange for a package of political, economic and trade incentives.
Major world powers have been insisting that Iran must first suspend enrichment before these negotiations can resume, a condition Iran rejects.
As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Tehran insists it has the right to enrichment, which is in progress at an underground facility in central Iran.