The two day talks between Iran and G5+1 delegations in Istanbul ended today without any concrete agreements.
Catherine Ashton, European Union’s foreign policy chief says Iran called for lifting of international sanctions and recognition of their right to uranium enrichment as preconditions for continuing negotiations which according to Ashton are “unacceptable for Iran’s interlocutors,” Associated Press reports.
Ashton stated that Iran has to gain the trust of the international community in order for the sanctions to be lifted and expressed disappointment that Iran has set preconditions for reaching any agreements.
Ashton reported that no date has been set for another meeting; however, she added that if Iran is willing to continue talksthey are willing to meet again.
Abolfazl Zoherehvand, an Iranian delegate reported greater optimism about the talks yesterday. He told reporters that the six world powers are showing greater flexibility in the talks.
German news agency reported that Catherine Ashton has recommended a separate meeting between Saeed Jalili, Iran’s senior negotiator, and William Burns, the US deputy foreign minister in political affairs. There are no official reports so far about the reaction of Burns and Jalili to this meeting.
Istanbul talks began while Washington is discussing fresh unilateral sanctions on Iran as they claim the existing sanctions have been “highly effective” in restricting Iranian nuclear program.
On the other hand, Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov told a press conference in Turkey that the lifting of Iranian sanctions should be on the agenda at the Istanbul talks.
The world powers are concerned that Iran would direct its nuclear program toward weapon production, but Iran has always maintained that its nuclear program is peaceful and only aimed at producing energy.