Moscow (ANTARA News) - World powers will seek to avert a collapse of diplomacy over Iran's nuclear programme at talks starting in Moscow on Monday, hoping to win concessions from
The uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan, Iran. World powers insisted Iran to open this facility due to their distrust that Iran has a hidden agenda in development of nuclear weapon. (wikipedia.org)
... Iran's right to enrich uranium ought to be "recognised and respected"...
Tehran and forestall a potential new war in the Middle East.
Consequences of failure could be devastating. Israel has threatened to bomb Iran if no solution to the dispute is found, oil markets are nervous over the prospect of intensifying regional tensions and the frail world economy can ill afford further spikes in the price of crude.
But after two rounds of negotiations in as many months, the sides are hardly any closer to reaching an agreement than before diplomacy resumed in April following a 15-month hiatus.
In Moscow, the six powers --the nuclear armed United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain, plus Germany-- will again push Tehran to address their most pressing concern, its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent fissile purity. Such production represents a major technological advance towards making weapons-grade material.
But they are wary of letting diplomacy drag on without clear progress, potentially buying Iran time to build up a programme they fear is aimed to develop weapons, something Tehran denies.
"We are very much determined to pursue this process as long there is momentum to pursue, and as long as there is commitment (from Iran) to pursue the nuclear issue in substance," a senior
European Union diplomat said.
Experts and diplomats say chances of a breakthrough in Moscow that could end the decade-long standoff are slim.
The six powers - led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton - hope at least to win assurances that Tehran is willing to discuss concrete solutions, opening the way to further meetings.
"Ashton is willing to stay in Moscow as long as it takes," the diplomat said. "But there is a time limit also ... We will have to say `no` to talks for talks` sake."
Diamonds for peanuts
Ahead of the Moscow talks, scheduled to start around 11 a.m. (0700 GMT) and last two days, each side has accused the other of obstructing diplomacy.
Iran has insisted progress will be only made if the six powers issue a public acknowledgement of its right to enrich uranium, something they have refused to do until Tehran agrees to in-depth U.N. inspections of its nuclear sites.
The Islamic Republic's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, told a Russian television station Iran's right to enrich uranium ought to be "recognised and respected".
Iran is also seeking an end to increasingly tough economic sanctions which have in recent months directly targeted its ability to export oil.
Jalili has indicated the powers' offer of nuclear fuel supplies for a research reactor and relief in sanctions on the sale of commercial aircraft parts to Iran was not enough.
At the last talks, in Baghdad last month, the six nations asked Tehran in return to stop producing higher-grade uranium, ship any stockpile out of the country and close down the underground Fordow facility where such work is done.
A former Iranian negotiator, Hossein Mousavian, called that offer diamonds for peanuts, telling Reuters that the Moscow talks would likely fail without substantial concessions by the six powers.
For their part, Western diplomats have said their concerns about the nature of Iran`s nuclear work have intensified.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) failed to persuade Iran, in talks this month, to let it inspect a military site, Parchin, where it suspects atom bomb-related research took place.
"What is worrying is that the IAEA track has stalled. It seems to be a mirror image of what is happening in our negotiations," said the senior European diplomat involved in the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Editor: Ade Marboen
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