Two days of talks between Iran and six world powers ended Tuesday in Geneva, with no sign of progress on UN Security Council demands that Tehran curb its nuclear activities.
The two negotiating leaders meet in Geneva
Six world powers and Iran met on Tuesday ended two days of talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program on Tuesday. The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the talks were detailed and substantive.
The meeting aimed to fix the framework for "several sessions" of future negotiations, with the next round of talks now planned for the end of January in Istanbul.
The two-day meeting comes 14 months after the last attempt to temper Iran's uranium enrichment drive and clarify its nuclear capabilities. The so-called 5 + 1 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany are worried Iran could use its uranium enrichment plants to make fuel for warheads.
Iran insists that it is seeking nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Before the talks started, Iran made statements that their right to seek nuclear technology was "non-negotiable."
Iran says enrichment facilities like this, are just used for peaceful purposes
However after repeated breakdowns in international inspections and the build up of uranium enrichment, Western countries suspect Iran is engaging in a covert program to build nuclear weapons.
The negotiating teams meet
Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili opened the talks on Monday by making a vehement protest against the recent assassination of a top nuclear scientist in Tehran, questioning why the international group did not condemn it.
He later held one-on-one meetings with the heads of the Chinese, Russian and British delegations as well as having a working dinner with Ashton.
European sources said they were not expecting the Geneva talks to produce instant results but hoping to re-engage Iran over the longer term.
"We've said all along that this was a starting point, and the aim was to have another meeting in which we can take things forward," one EU diplomat told the news agency Reuters.
Author: Catherine Bolsover (AFP/Reuters/dpa)
Editor: Rob Turner