Catherine Ashton

Catherine Ashton, the head of EU foreign policy, says she hopes the upcoming talks in Baghdad will lead Iran to abandon its alleged “nuclear weapons program.”

Reuters reports that Ashton said she had high hopes for the outcome of the new round of talks, slated for May 23 in Baghdad.
Iran insists that it has no nuclear weapons program and its nuclear program is peaceful, so Ashton’s choice of words — “nuclear weapon’s program” — went beyond the usual terminology used by Western officials on the subject.

Ashton told reporters in Brussels: "My ambition is that we come away with the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons program in Iran. I hope we’ll see the beginnings of success."

Nuclear talks between Iran and the G5+1 resumed in April in Istanbul, with both sides reporting satisfaction with the outcome. The talks will now continue in Baghdad.

Iran has said it wants an easing of the sanctions introduced by the U.S. and EU as a show of good faith, but Western diplomats say Iran must first show that it is willing to take concrete steps to convince the international community.