| 17.1°C Belfast

Iran offers to resume nuclear talks

Close

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says Iran is ready to resume talks about its nuclear programme

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says Iran is ready to resume talks about its nuclear programme

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says Iran is ready to resume talks about its nuclear programme

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says Iran is ready to resume talks about its nuclear programme.

Ms Ashton says she received a letter from Iran saying the country is prepared to resume talks after November 10.

She said the offer to resume talks was "a very important" development.

The UN Security Council has slapped four sets of sanctions on Iran over its enrichment of uranium, which can be a gateway to developing atomic weapons.

Iran insists it only seeks to master the technology to produce fuel for a planned network of nuclear power facilities.

In last year's talks, Iran balked at a UN-drafted proposal to send its enriched uranium abroad to be further processed and made into fuel rods that would be returned for use in powering a medical research reactor.

That would have left Iran, at least temporarily, without enough enriched uranium stockpiles to produce a weapon. The fuel rods could not easily be further process to the higher, weapons-grade level of enrichment needed to make the fissile core of warheads.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful and has no intention to build a weapon. Seven months after that deal was proposed, Iran said it would be willing to make a similar fuel swap negotiated by Turkey and Brazil, but that failed to satisfy the other world powers, leading to the fourth round of UN sanctions.

In Friday's message, Iran referred to an earlier letter that included conditions for restarting talks. That letter, sent in July, asked the six nations to clarify their position on Israel's nuclear program, which is widely believed to have included the production of a sizeable nuclear arsenal. Iran failed in a push in September for the U.N. nuclear agency to censure Israel for shielding its nuclear programmes from inspection.

Earlier this month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad endorsed the idea of new talks but warned they would fail if the West does not clearly come out against Israel's suspected nuclear arsenal. Friday's letter, however, did not specifically list those conditions, which also included a demand to know when sanctions would be lifted and when the US would give up its nuclear weapons.


Top Videos



Privacy