News24

Iran irked by comments ahead of talks

2012-04-13 20:02

Istanbul - Iran is "disappointed and discouraged" by Western comments ahead of crunch talks with world powers focused on its nuclear programme here on Saturday, a source close to Tehran's delegation said Friday.

"So far the Iranian delegation finds the Western position as stated during the G8 meeting [on Thursday] and expressed in the media disappointing and discouraging," the source told AFP, wishing to remain anonymous.

"This position does not give us much hope. We hope that the real position of the P5+1 will be different" in the negotiations, he said, referring to the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama had urged Iran on Thursday "to seize the opportunity of the resumption of talks [and]... to engage in serious negotiations and suspend all sensitive nuclear activities".

Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight major industrialised nations called in a statement after a meeting in Washington on Thursday on Iran to begin a "constructive and serious dialogue" at the Istanbul gathering.

US media reports meanwhile have suggested that the P5+1 could insist that Iran halt enrichment of uranium to purities of 20%, dismantle its Fordo development facility and export its enriched uranium stockpiles.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili stated on Wednesday that his delegation would present "new initiatives" and that he hoped that the other parties would display a constructive attitude in response.

The talks between the P5+1 and Iran are the first in 15 months and come after months of rising international tensions over Iran's nuclear activities.

Iran says that its activities are for peaceful purposes but Western powers suspect that the Islamic republic wants the bomb.