- Title: SWITZERLAND: Iran and major powers agree to meet again in nuclear dispute
- Date: 8th December 2010
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (DECEMBER 7, 2010) (REUTERS) EUROPEAN UNION (EU) FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF CATHERINE ASHTON WALKING INTO NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF, CATHERINE ASHTON, SAYING: "We have had nearly two days of detailed substantive talks focusing on the Iranian nuclear programme and the need for Iran to comply with its international obligations. The countries I represent are united in seeking a resolution of the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear programme which is a central purpose of these talks. "We recognise Iran's rights but insist that it fulfils its obligations. We are ready to address and to seek common ground also on other issues of mutual interest. We and Iran agreed to a continuation of these talks in late January in Istanbul where we plan to discuss practical ideas and ways of co-operating towards a resolution of our core concerns about the nuclear issue." MEDIA ASHTON WALKING IN HOTEL LOBBY SURROUNDED BY MEDIA AND SECURITY ASHTON GETTING INTO CAR CAR LEAVING
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2010 12:00
- Location: Switzerland, Switzerland
- Country: Switzerland
- Reuters ID: LVAD9W30U0MTD6I3IU4LJXK1Z2IB
- Story Text: Six of the world's major powers and Iran agreed on Tuesday (December 7) to meet again next month, after two days of talks failed to produce any progress in the long-running dispute over the Islamic state's nuclear ambitions.
European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that the nations she represented did recognise Iran's rights, but that a resolution to concerns surrounding their nuclear programme was needed.
"The countries I represent are united in seeking a resolution of the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear programme which is a central purpose of these talks. We recognise Iran's rights but insist that it fulfils its obligations," Ashton said told a news conference.
Iran and the six powers involved in efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the row will meet again in Istanbul in late January to address basic concerns about Iran's nuclear programme.
"We and Iran agreed to a continuation of these talks in late January in Istanbul where we plan to discuss practical ideas and ways of co-operating towards a resolution of our core concerns about the nuclear issue," Ashton said.
The EU is co-ordinating negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme on behalf of the six powers -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
At the two-day talks the powers sought to put concerted pressure on Iran to agree to discuss its nuclear work, which the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.
The six powers had played down expectations of progress at the talks in Geneva, the first in over a year, but they hoped that they would lead to regular contacts.
Iran, which announced a breakthrough in its nuclear technology on the eve of the talks, has been under increasing pressure from sanctions imposed by the West.
Iran dismisses the impact of such penalties, saying trade and other sanctions imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution toppled the U.S.-backed shah have made the country stronger.
Such rhetoric is to be expected from Tehran, but experts and diplomats are far from confident that external pressure alone will be enough to force Tehran to climb down, with some suggesting the big powers may also have to compromise.
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