Suspicions that Iran may be working to turn its nuclear activities into weaponry linger after high-level talks over the nation's nuclear program failed to escape deadlock. Future talks are possible.
Negotiations between senior leaders of Iran and six world powers in Moscow on Tuesday failed to resolve differences over Tehran's nuclear program.
"We expect Iran to decide whether it is willing to make diplomacy work, to focus on reaching agreement on concrete confidence-building steps, and to address the concerns of the international community," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
The failure of the talks will be seen by some as a diplomatic failure to persuade Tehran to curb its uranium enrichment, which can potentially be used for both reactor fuel and the core of nuclear warheads.
Looking at the next steps
Ashton said future meetings were possible but that lower-level talks were needed first to break the deadlock that has plagued the negotiations since April. Technical experts, meanwhile, are set to meet in Istanbul on July 4.
The world powers involved included the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
For its part, Iran denies any ambitions to make nuclear weapons, claiming instead that its program is meant to produce reactor fuel and make medical isotopes. Iran is seeking the lifting of international sanctions before it considers curbing its uranium enrichment activities.
Iran wants the world powers to acknowledge its right to enrich uranium, but world leaders refuse to do so until Tehran allows United Nations inspections.
tm/ng (AFP, AP, Reuters)