Iran Nuclear NewsBritish FM presses Iran ahead of 'tough' nuclear talks

British FM presses Iran ahead of ‘tough’ nuclear talks

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AFP: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Monday pressed Iran to stick by commitments to freeze its nuclear activities, ahead of what he said will be “tough” talks with the European Union this week. Arriving for a regular ministerial talks in Brussels, he confirmed that the talks — between Iran and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, plus EU foreign policy head Javier Solana – will take place in Geneva on Wednesday. AFP

BRUSSELS – British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Monday pressed Iran to stick by commitments to freeze its nuclear activities, ahead of what he said will be “tough” talks with the European Union this week.

Arriving for a regular ministerial talks in Brussels, he confirmed that the talks — between Iran and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, plus EU foreign policy head Javier Solana – will take place in Geneva on Wednesday.

“The issue before us will be to ensure that both sides stick by the agreements which we have already entered into… in Paris in November,” he said, referring to pledges to suspend key nuclear enrichment activities.

Of the talks he said: “I think they will be tough, but I think very much they will be successful.

“The Iranians are tough to negotiate with, but so far the Iranians have accepted, as we, that it is in the interest of Iran, Europe and the international community that we should reach agreement.”

He declined to be drawn on what proposals the EU side could make to resolve the recent tension over the issue. “There are propositions. The appropriate place to put those is in the room,” he said.

Iran agreed in November to hold off from resuming uranium conversion — a precursor to the ultra-sensitive enrichment process which has prompted fears of a secret weapons programme — pending this week’s talks.

But EU concern has been fueled by a series of warnings from Tehran that it will resume the nuclear enrichment activities if it is not satisfied with what it hears from the Europeans.

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