Iran Didn't Agree to Bilateral Talks with US on Nuclear Program

World | April 14, 2012, Saturday // 21:21|  views

Iran's state news agency Fars has rejected earlier reports that the country had agreed to bilateral talks on its nuclear program with the US.

Saturday in Istanbul a fresh round of talks were held between Iran and the UN's 5 permanent Security Council members plus Germany on the Iranian nuclear program.

Negotiating parties have said that ongoing talks on the Iranian nuclear program in Istanbul have achieved good progress and are underway in a constructive manner.

Saturday evening world agencies reported that Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili has agreed to a bilateral meeting with American representatives at a later stage.

However, Fars, quoting an "informed source", denied the reports, saying they were "part of a media campaign against the Iranian delegation."

This is also confirmed by Iranian PressTV, which quotes sources saying that Iranian negotiators have rejected multiple requests from US for bilateral negotiations.

Saeed Jalili is nevertheless said to have already conducted bilateral talks with all other representatives - those from Russia, France, the UK, China and Germany.

A second round of negotiations has already begun Saturday evening.

In all, Saturday's ongoing talks have been largely constructive, according to statements by participants.

Michael Mann, spokesperson of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, stated that the talks are faring much better than an earlier attempt in January that led nowhere.

Russian representative, vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Ryabkov, has said that talks are being conducted "constructively, in a businesslike manner."

Iranian sources however have been more reticent, saying it is "too early to judge whether the atmosphere of the discussions has been positive," writes PressTV.

May 23 was set as the date for the next installment of the negotiations, to be conducted in Baghdad.

Western countries have called on Iran to limit uranium enriching, while Iranian authorities have seen no need to do since they claim their program is entirely peaceful.

One of the goals of the talks is to convince Iran to let in more International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) observers.

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Tags: Baghdad, Saeed Jalili, Sergey Ryabkov, Michael Mann, Catherine Ashton, EU, Istanbul, UN, International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran, Iranian nuclear program, US, American


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