Iran Nuclear NewsEU to ask Iran for postponement of nuclear talks

EU to ask Iran for postponement of nuclear talks

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DPA: The European Union ‘big three’ of Germany, France and Britain are to ask Iran to postpone the resumption of nuclear talks until after presidential elections in the country slated for
17 June, it was reported on Wednesday – then promptly
officially denied. DPA

VIENNA/TEHERAN – The European Union ‘big three’ of Germany, France and Britain are to ask Iran to postpone the resumption of nuclear talks until after presidential elections in the country slated for 17 June, it was reported on Wednesday – then promptly officially denied.

Sources in Vienna and news reports in Iran said France, Germany and Britain would formally request Iran to postpone the talks at a meeting to be held Friday 29 April in London between representatives of both sides.

The reports were however denied by EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana who said he had “no information that the meeting would be postponed” and that the next round of talks would be held as scheduled on May 29.

EU sources said earlier that the request was being made because negotiators felt that real progress could only be made on the issue after the polls, when the balance of political power in Iran has been clarified.

The EU desire to postpone the talks was also reported in Iran by news agency IRNA, who quoted Ali Aga-Mohammadi of the Supreme National Security Council as saying that no decision had been reached on whether to agree to the request.

Last year, Teheran said that nuclear talks will end before the presidential elections and before the close of President Mohammad Khatami’s tenure.

Britain, France and Germany have been spearheading talks with Teheran aimed at convincing Teheran to permanently suspend uranium enrichment in return for aid and improved economic and diplomatic relations. Enriched uranium, although used in the process of generating nuclear power, can have weapons applications.

The United States has long accused Iran of harbouring ambitions to build nuclear weapons. Teheran however maintains that its nuclear programme, details of which were first revealed in 2003, is for peaceful purposes only.

Iran has consistently refused to permanently suspend uranium enrichment but has suspended it for the duration of the talks. Chief Iranian negotiator Hassan Rohani has also expressed satisfaction with the talks’ progress following the conclusion of the latest round in March.

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