People of Northwest Public Radio
Thu May 24, 2012
Talks With Iran To Reconvene Next Month
"Iran and world powers have agreed to meet in Moscow next month for another round of negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program," The Associated Press reports.
That would indicate the two days' worth of talks that just concluded in Baghdad were at least productive enough for the parties to agree they can continue. The New York Times says that there were "no clear signs of progress." But one unnamed U.S. official told the newspaper that "we're getting to things that matter. Even if we disagree on the shape, we think there is the beginning of a negotiation."
Iran, which says its nuclear ambitions do not include the development of atomic weapons, has been under increasing economic pressure from the U.S. and other world powers. They want Iran to open up its nuclear programs for inspection and to give up any effort to enrich uranium to anything near weapons-grade.
The so-called P5+1 talks have put Iran on one side of the table, across from representatives from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.) and Germany.
As NPR's Peter Kenyon reported earlier today on Morning Edition, the talks are almost surely going to be long and hard.
According to the AP, the news about more talks in Russia on June 18-19, "caps two days of negotiations in Baghdad where at times it appeared Tehran would withdraw from the talks in frustration over the West's refusal so far to scale back tough economic sanctions on Iran."
Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. "Sound, But Unfinished":
From Baghdad, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports that negotiators say the talks went into "levels of substance" beyond what was expected, and that Iran's representative said they were "sound, but unfinished."