Iran negotiations reach stalemate, more talks planned
Iran and world powers will hold their next talks over the Iranian nuclear crisis in Istanbul on March 17-18 involving senior officials from both sides, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said after talks in Kazakhstan.
“As a result of two days of negotiations, an agreement has been reached for a meeting at expert level in Istanbul on March 17-18,” Ryabkov said, quoted by the state RIA-Novosti news agency. The expert-level meetings usually involve senior officials ranking below the top negotiators from both sides.
This was echoed by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili who said he would next hold talks with six world powers represented by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in the Kazakh city of Almaty on April 5-6.
“It was agreed to convene an expert level meeting in Istanbul on March 18, which would be followed by the 5+1 meeting with Iran on April 5-6 in Almaty,” Jalili told reporters, adding that the world powers were being “more realistic” in their approach to the standoff.
He also said that the production of 20% Iran’s nuclear fuel could be discussed in negotiations, which greatly worries the West, but he appeared to rule out closing the underground Fordo enrichment plant.
But, Jalili said there is still a long way left before reaching “optimum point” in nuclear talks.