Deputy nuclear negotiators for Iran and the P5+1 have wrapped up a meeting in Istanbul.
Helga Schmid, the EU deputy foreign policy chief, and her Iranian counterpart, Dr. Ali Bagheri, met to try to see if there’s a way to narrow vast differences that have emerged in three rounds of nuclear talks. The gaps were so wide at the last round of nuclear talks in Moscow last month that negotiators decided to schedule three sets of lower profile meetings. Schmid and Bagheri’s discussions Tuesday followed a July 3rd technical meeting between nuclear experts. Chief negotiators for the EU and Iran are next due to confer, to see if there’s sufficient basis for progress to reconvene again at the senior political level.
“The meeting between Helga Schmid and Dr Bagheri has finished,” EU spokesman Michael Mann said. “As agreed in Moscow, the next stage will be a contact between” EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Dr. Saeed Jalili.
EU diplomats declined to provide more details on the meeting Tuesday.
The P5+1 has asked Iran to stop its 20% enrichment, ship out its 20% stockpile, and close the fortified Fordo enrichment site as a first-step confidence-building measure. Iran has indicated it is willing to discuss halting its 20% enrichment, but wants recognition of its right to enrich for energy purposes and more relief from draconian new sanctions than the international proposal provides.