EU, Iran resume talks over nuclear program
Representatives of Iran and the European Union are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Wednesday to resume negotiations regarding Iran's controversial nuclear program. The EU and others in the West, including the United States, hope to convince Iran to abandon its program, reportedly over fears that it would be used to build atomic weapons.
Foreign ministry officials of Britain, France and Germany, as well as the Iranian National Security Council, will meet, marking the first talks since negotiations broke off in August over a deadlock.
Iran has since resumed its uranium conversion, considered the first step towards making enriched uranium needed for nuclear reactor fuel, which could be used for civilian purposes as well as the core of a nuclear weapon.
Despite resumption of talks, many feel that there is little chance of Iran ceasing such activity. “The best that could happen at this meeting would be to agree on a second meeting,” one diplomat said.
Iran continues to maintain that is within its rights to develop nuclear power, and that its sole purpose is for civilian use.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said on Monday that the discussions would deal with ensuring that the products of the nation's enrichment program would not be used for military purposes, rather than of cessation of enrichment.
“The world has understood that the national will of Iran to enrich is serious,” he said, according to the AFP.
Europeans expressed their readiness to compromise on the issue, implying that they would likely agree to some fuel cycle work but not to enrichment.
If talks break down, Iran could face the United Nations Security Council, and possible sanctions against it.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently brought upon himself the condemnation in many by saying that the State of Israel "should be wiped off the map".