World powers open to more nuke talks with Iran

WASHINGTON, Sept 28: World powers have decided to lay the groundwork for another round of negotiations with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, a senior US official said, but they want a significantly improved offer from the Islamic republic.
Neither the US nor any of its international partners was ready to abandon diplomacy in favor of military or other actions, as Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has advocated.
The new hope for negotiated end to Iran’s decade-long nuclear standoff came after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, powers that have sought, over several rounds of talks, to persuade Iran to halt its production of material that could be used in nuclear weapons.
All such efforts have failed so far.
The latest stab at a diplomatic compromise collapsed this summer after Iran proposed to stop producing higher-enriched uranium in exchange for a suspension in international sanctions, which Clinton has termed a “nonstarter.”
The US official said Iran would have to bring a much better offer to the table this time, but stressed that nations were seeing some signs for optimism and that diplomacy remained “far and away the preferred way to deal with this issue.”
Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top diplomat, who has been spearheading the international diplomacy with Iran, was instructed to reach out to Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.
Still, no date was set for the possible resumption of the so-called P5+1 talks with Iran, said the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn’t authorised to comment publicly about the closed-doors meeting at the United Nations.
After looking for a diplomatic solution there, Clinton met yesterday with Netanyahu one-on-one for 75 minutes at a New York hotel where she was expected to hear the alternative argument for possible military action.
The US official said they agreed that Iran must be prevented from becoming a nuclear power, without going into details. (AGENCIES)


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