Iran Nuclear NewsEuropean official reports progress in talks with Iran

European official reports progress in talks with Iran

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International Herald Tribune: Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said Thursday that “some important progress” had been made in two days of talks over resolving Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that more talks would be held next week. International Herald Tribune

Published: September 29, 2006
By JUDY DEMPSEY

BERLIN, Sept. 28 — Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said Thursday that “some important progress” had been made in two days of talks over resolving Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that more talks would be held next week.

“We have had the opportunity of being together for several hours and of working with great intensity,” Mr. Solana said after the talks with Ali Larijani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. “We have made some important progress on the elements related to how the potential negotiations can take place.”

Mr. Solana was referring to a package of political, economic and technological incentives that six nations — France, Germany, Britain, the United States, Russia and China — offered Iran in June in return for a suspension of Tehran’s uranium enrichment program.

Diplomats said that reaching the point of negotiations on the incentives depended on establishing a timetable for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.

“It is now a question of sequencing,” said a European diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. “This is about Iran specifically agreeing to when it will start suspending its uranium enrichment program.”

Despite the optimistic report here, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said Thursday that his nation would not be deterred from its nuclear ambitions, though he said that Iran was ready for fair negotiations.

“We support negotiations and talks in the framework of law and fair conditions and on the basis of defending the obvious right of the Iranian nation,” he said during a speech at a rally in Karaj, a city west of Tehran. But he said, as he has previously, that Iran would not suspend enrichment.

“Why are they insisting that we suspend our atomic work?” he said. “Because they control the advertising network of the world, and they want to tell the nations that they were right and Iran wanted to produce nuclear weapons, and after that they would never let us continue our program.”

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