World powers and Iran met in Moscow for talks intended to narrow differences over Tehran’s nuclear programme and avert the danger of a new war in the Middle East, diplomats said.
The six powers – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – hope to persuade Iran to curb production of high-grade uranium which they suspect is a step towards making nuclear weapons.
Iran, which denies its nuclear programme has military purposes, has refused to do so until the six powers publicly acknowledge that it has the right to carry out work, Reuters reports.
Tehran also wants relief from intensifying economic sanctions, with and faces new U.S. and European Union sanctions in the next two weeks.
“Talks have started,” said a diplomat involved in the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity. No other details were available
Western diplomats have said a breakthrough is unlikely at the Moscow meeting, the third such talks since diplomacy over the issue resumed after a 15-month hiatus in April. Both sides have so far refused to move first.
The six world powers want an acknowledgement from Iran that it is willing to address their most pressing concerns and are seeking an agreement to enter into detailed negotiations on how this could be achieved.