AP: The European Union’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Thursday he expects to hold nuclear talks with Iran “in the coming days.” Associated Press
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Thursday he expects to hold nuclear talks with Iran “in the coming days.”
Solana told The Associated Press that a planned meeting in Vienna, Austria, this week fell through because of calendar problems, “particularly from their side.”
A senior Iranian envoy on Wednesday abruptly announced that the meeting between Solana and Iranian nuclear envoy Ali Larijani in Vienna had been postponed.
The talks were a final attempt to see if there was common ground to start negotiations between Iran and the six nations that have been trying to persuade Iran to limit its nuclear program.
Iran has refused demands by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany to suspend uranium enrichment, paving the way for possible sanctions.
In his first public comments since the Iranian announcement, Solana told the AP that the two sides had never agreed on a fixed date. “No meeting has been canceled, no meeting has been arranged at a fixed date,” Solana said in Denmark. “I hope it will be held in the coming days.”
He did not give any details on the time or place of the meeting.
Larijani, meanwhile, arrived in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and other leaders. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is also in Madrid for talks with Zapatero, but it was not immediately known if he and Larijani will meet.
Larijani is reportedly to go to Italy and then to Vienna after his visit in Spain.
Russia, along with China, has steadfastly opposed efforts by the United States and other Western nations to bring sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. Washington says Tehran is seeking to build nuclear weapons; Tehran says its programs are for electricity generation.