The number two European Union foreign policy chief has written her Iranian counterpart as Iran has raised increasing reservations about proceeding with a new round of nuclear talks in Moscow this month, according to a letter seen by Al Monitor.
“Let me say that I am somewhat surprised by the issues raised in your letters,” Helga Schmid, the deputy European Union foreign policy chief wrote her Iranian counterpart Dr. Ali Bagheri, in the letter, dated Thursday June 7th, which was seen by Al Monitor.
“I would like to recall that during our talks in Baghdad, the E3+3 presented a straightforward proposal which addresses on the one hand our key concerns on the 20% enrichment activities, and at the same time offers interesting opportunities for cooperation in the nuclear and other areas which would be beneficial to Iran,” it continues.
The letter is the latest EU response to Iranian requests for technical meetings ahead of the next round of P5+1/Iran talks, which are scheduled to take place in Moscow on June 18-19th.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili reportedly wrote Schmid’s boss, EU High Rep Catherine Ashton, on Wednesday complaining that the chief international negotiator had rebuffed Iranian requests for an experts level meeting ahead of Moscow, stressing instead the need for political progress.
Jalili’s letter “said that the EU failure to arrange experts meeting led by deputies of the negotiators to draft agenda of the talks created an atmosphere of doubt and ambiguity for success of the Moscow talks,” Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Thursday.
Political directors from the P5+1–the United States, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China–as well as Ashton are due to meet in Strasbourg, France on Monday to prepare for the Moscow meetings. As yet no agenda for the meeting had been agreed, diplomatic sources told Al Monitor Thursday.
Iran, at a meeting in Baghdad last month, apparently rejected international offers for technical briefings on the P5+1 confidence building proposal but now is seeking such discussions.
“We would feel very encouraged if Iran were now ready to enter in these discussions,” Schmid wrote Bagheri Thursday. “This proposal continues to represent the promising basis towards achieving concrete results at this stage.”