Iranian media report that nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers, which were supposed to take place this month, have been postponed.
The Fars and Mehr News agencies quote Helga Schmid, Catherine Ashton’s deputy, saying that the world powers are not prepared for negotiations in January and have proposed an alternative date in February.
Catherine Ashton is the head of G5+1 negotiators as well as the EU foreign policy chief.
Iranian media claim that Iran was prepared for the meeting and it was the other side that called by telephone to arrange a postponement.
Meanwhile, Ashton’s spokesman said on January 23 that Iran is trying to delay the nuclear talks. On the same day, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that on his latest trip to Egypt, he had called on Egyptian authorities to host the talks between Iran and the world powers.
Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, said: “We proposed concrete dates and venues in December. Ever since then, we have been very surprised to see Iran come back to us again and again with new preconditions on the modalities of the talks, for example by changing the venue and delaying their responses.”
Iran has held talks with the world powers in Geneva, Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow.
Since the last meeting, Iran has been hit by severe EU and U.S. sanctions on its petroleum exports and financial sector and has been facing serious economic fluctuations.