U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says “significant differences” with Iran still remain after two days of negotiations in Baghdad.
The G5+1 met with Iran on May 23 for two days of intense negotiations that ended yesterday, with plans to meet again next month in Moscow.
Both sides reportedly presented their proposals to resolve the nuclear disputes. The West suspects Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons, but Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.
The world powers called on Iran to stop enriching uranium to the 20-percent level and to shut down its underground nuclear plant at Fordo. They also called for unrestricted access to Iran’s nuclear sites for inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Clinton said Iran also put forth its own ideas, and “significant differences” still remain.
Some Western diplomats in Baghdad had said that some of Iran’s points of concern are unrelated to nuclear issues.
Saeed Jalili, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, confirmed that one of Iran’s points deals with Bahrain and the state of its democracy.
In the past year, Bahrain has faced widespread popular protests that threaten the legitimacy of its ruling monarchy, and Saudi Arabian and UAE troops have entered the Gulf Island country to put down the protests.
Iran has been strongly critical of what it has called foreign intervention in Bahrain.
The Mehr News Agency reports that Iran has also called for cooperation in the fight against piracy and drug trafficking.
In terms of nuclear issues, Iran reportedly insists on its right to uranium enrichment under NPT provisions. However, Jalili has announced that uranium enrichment at the 20 percent level is open to negotiation.
The world powers are set to meet again with the Iranian delegation in Moscow on June 18 and 19.
Clinton has said: “"As we lay the groundwork for these talks, we will keep up the pressure as part of our dual-track approach. All of our sanctions will remain in place and will continue to move forward during this period.”