Nuclear talks with Tehran scheduled for 14 April
By Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt | Tuesday 10 April 2012
Nuclear talks between Iran and the countries of the 5+1 group – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, Russia, China, France and the UK) and Germany – will resume on 14 April in Turkey. “We have agreed with Iran to launch a new round of talks in Istanbul, on 14 April” said Michael Mann, spokesman for High Representative Catherine Ashton. “We hope that this first round will produce a conducive environment for concrete progress,” Mann commented. Negotiators failed to reach an agreement at the last meeting, which took place over a year ago, in January 2011.
According to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, the second round of talks will be held in Baghdad, but the date will only be announced at the end of the Istanbul meeting. However, the EU’s diplomatic service did not confirm said venue, as “in accordance with existing practice, an announcement on the date and venue for a second round would be made at the end of the first round”. Nevertheless, Mann took note of the “invitation of the government of Iraq to host a subsequent round of talks”.
The meeting follows increasing tensions between the EU and Iran over Tehran’s alleged nuclear programme, as the EU and its 27 member states have already agreed to cut imports of Iranian oil, while Tehran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz through which transits almost one-fifth of worldwide traded oil.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has already announced that no preconditions to the talks will be accepted. “Setting any conditions before a meeting means drawing a conclusion before the negotiations, which is completely meaningless,” he said according to the national news agency. “None of the parties will accept any conditions set before the talks,” he added.