Iran nuclear talks seen as 'constructive and useful'
Iran's top national security official Saeed Jalili with European Union's Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton in Istanbul
April 14th, 2012
03:19 PM ET

Iran nuclear talks seen as 'constructive and useful'

By CNN's Ivan Watson in Istanbul

Iran and six world powers held "constructive and useful" talks Saturday in Turkey as international diplomats seek to persuade Tehran to rein in its nuclear program.

"We have agreed that the nonproliferation treaty forms a key basis for what must be serious engagement to ensure all the obligations under the treaty are met by Iran while fully respecting Iran's right for the peaceful use of nuclear energy," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said following the meeting with Iran's top negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Istanbul.

Jalili had said ahead of the talks that he intended to bring "new initiatives" to the table.

Ashton said Saturday's meeting was a basis to establish a "sustained process of serious dialogue."

The next meeting between Jalili and delegates from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, France, Russia, China, and Britain - and Germany, will be held May 23 in Baghdad. Experts in the nuclear field will meet ahead of next month's meeting.

"We expect subsequent meetings will lead to concrete steps towards a comprehensive negotiated solution which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program," Ashton said.

The group of delegates - also known as the P5+1 - has spearheaded diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to limit its nuclear program, which Iran has said is purely peaceful. U.N. and Western leaders suspect it of having military aims, including a possible nuclear weapon.

Jalili had dinner Friday night with Ashton, who is leading the international negotiating team.

Ashton said the atmosphere with Jalili was good, going into the talks, but that "much depends on what Iran is putting on the table today."

Iran last met with the six powers for talks on its nuclear program 15 months ago. That meeting, also in Istanbul, was widely regarded as ending in failure when Iran presented what the international side said were preconditions for talks.

Going into Saturday's meeting, the indications from behind the scenes were that both sides want to make progress.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an opinion piece published Friday in the Washington Post that Tehran is committed to a peaceful program, but it needs to see trust from the international side.

"Despite sanctions, threats of war, assassinations of several of our scientists and other forms of terrorism, we have chosen to remain committed to dialogue," he wrote.

"In the upcoming talks, we hope that all sides will return to the negotiating table as equals with mutual respect; that all sides will be committed to comprehensive, long-term dialogue aimed at resolving all parties' outstanding concerns; and, most important, that all sides make genuine efforts to reestablish confidence and trust."

However, Iran's official Press TV cited a source close to the Iranian delegation in reporting Friday that Iran sees little encouragement coming from the remarks of European and U.S. officials ahead of the talks.

Iran has been under increasing pressure to accept international demands to restrict its nuclear program, including a series of harsh economic sanctions imposed by European nations and the United States.

Last month, Iranian officials signaled they were ready to engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, over the issue.

Iran suggested last week that one proposal may be a reduction in the amount of uranium it enriches to 20%, but it was unclear if such a proposal was still on the table.

While the enrichment isn't enough to create nuclear weapons, which require a uranium content of 90% or more, analysts and inspectors say it is step toward being able to create a nuclear weapon.

Last month, the IAEA noted what it called a sharp and troubling increase in Iran's uranium enrichment capabilities.

Iran says the enrichment is for research and medical needs.

As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran has the right, like other countries, to enrich uranium for commercial and research reactors. But the same facilities that are used for peaceful enrichment can be used to enrich uranium for a bomb, and inspectors say they have not been able to fully gauge Iran's intentions.

CNN's Bharati Naik contributed to this report.

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Filed under: EU • Iran • Nuclear
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. wowlfie

    I can only laugh at the gullibility of Obama's team.

    When a country has a fool for a leader.....

    April 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • F B M

      You mean like the 8 years of Idiot Jr.?

      April 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  2. amir

    Israel Deputy PM Dan Meridor: Iran never said it would "wipe Israel off map"

    Iran has every right to enrich uranium under NPT. Is it economic ? probably not but it is not your business

    April 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  3. Up Yours, Amerika!

    I'd really like to see these two fuck.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  4. icejackal

    perhaps Obama has shares in all the major oil companies. I mean his oh so tuff Iran is trembling sanctions take effect in June during busy summer gas season! Watch the price of Crude skyrocket come summer. This is not even factoring in a Mid east war, because that cannot even be calculated in oil costs!!

    April 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  5. icejackal

    I wondern if wonderbama realizes he is showing himself to be weak not only to his people but to the world, in an election year to boot!!

    April 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  6. icejackal

    Meeting in Istanbul was a joke! Nothing was accomplished or agreed upon except to meet next month in Bagdhad. Prolonging the useless negotiations until Tehran declares we have a bomb. Then Obama will say well we gave it our best Israel Middle east, world too bad live with it!!

    April 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  7. icejackal

    in the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program," Ashton said...Isnt this a complete about face going from their program has a sinister nature to it's for peaceful purposes!. Wow Obama will sell out anyone during election year. Put that one on an election poster!!

    April 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply

    it will go a long way in combatin crime.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  9. mardjan

    At last they started ating like diplomats. It is very good that Baroness Ashton covered up a little. In the Middle East these small gestures are appreciated.

    April 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  10. vault of deception

    talks resulted in an agreement for future talks , but nothing was done and be very clear and understand this is just a stalling tactics on all sides .
    obama does not have the will to confront iran , so the deception of both sides is the only common factor between the two . iran is building nuke and obama and company do not have the election under their belt so there will be no military conflict , so the deception game will be played by both sides. what a disaster

    April 15, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • mardjan

      Avoiding war is a disaster? I don't think so! Going to a war when we can avoid it is a disaster.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
      • TAKE NOTE

        Well the price of oil is ?
        Give Iran nukes and the ME will be ruled by threats , the strait of hormuz would be a money grab for Iran as Iran would impose high transit fees for many ships brokered by Nations that Iran may see as unfriendly.

        If you think gas prices are high now just wait for Iran to get nukes and than watch the games come about on the end of a nuke threat response Iran.
        Things are at a boil now with out a IRANIAN NUKE give them nukes and the ME falls into chaos.

        April 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
      • Jim

        The only way Iran can avoid an attack on their nuclear facilities is to agree to cease enrichment.
        There is no way that the civilized world can live with Iran as a nuclear power.

        Being a theocracy disqualifies them, without even considering their long running assistance to terrorist groups around the world.

        Not "War", just disintegration of their nuclear abilities........if there's war after that, it's because Iran lashes out.

        April 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  11. shivadass

    This is your wake up call.

    April 15, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
  12. Arbo Muslim

    It,s Very good.Iranian people hate war

    April 15, 2012 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • Wastrel

      Then they need to alter or abolish their war-mongering government.

      April 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
      • F B M

        Oh, that's rich. The hypocrisy is stunning.

        April 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  13. Michael

    The US is well on its way to becoming the worlds First TrulyGlobal Empire. There are no singular or combination of nations millitary or economys that can even slow down this Becoming! Globalisim is not some pie in sky future event it is and has been Right Now for the last 20 years in all its formations. All the BS and doomsdayers on US LOSING THIS OR THAT WAR IS no more than regurgitated blathering of what they want public to percieve. US populace will soon be told once again and then a new once again why we Must CHANGE in order to make Nation stronger or to Combat another threat to our freedoms, and there will be whose who believe and regurgitate the OFFICAL SWILL and puke out the Just nuke the bas! ards.

    April 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  14. Michael

    US wants the very same thing today as when they went into Iran 40yrs ago, to curtail any and all access to any portion of Caspian Coridors energy resources. Untill and only untill the whole of Irans Governent is overthrown and a replacememt is installed that suits Israeli/US needs they will remain at war with Iran. Sometimes one must wnder if almost every american is not suffering from tunnel vision and cross eyed to boot and if there is not another ailment called Cross Ear as well for there is a far larger program involved. The Grand Design? take over control of all lands peoples and Resources, energy routes into and out of those areas from Balkans, streight North clear up into Mongolia. WHY? sdne today as when we went to Iran 40 years ago. TO DRIVE A WEDGE BETWEEN ANY POSSIBLE CHINA/ RUSSIA ALLIANCE wether it be energy or millitaryand to exclude them from those energy fields. Neither Russia nor China has the financial capacity to build deterant force

    April 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • Buzzer

      Really? Call us when this happens...until then this is PURELY CONJECTURE with no evidence what so ever.

      April 16, 2012 at 5:45 am | Reply
  15. Iran

    Article IV of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
    1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop

    research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I

    and II of this Treaty.

    2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange

    of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the

    Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international

    organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the

    territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of

    the world.

    Article X. Establishes the right to withdraw from the Treaty giving 3 months' notice. It also establishes the duration of the

    Treaty (25 years before 1995 Extension Initiative).

    Provides for the right of countries to engage in military action in self-defense, including collective self-defense (i.e.


    April 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
    • America

      Nice try, you're sitting on top of about 20% of the world's oil reserves, and unless you have the BIGGEST epidemic of cancer in the history of Human kind, you're gearing up for a bomb. Let me guess, it's your "Inalienable right" to blow the hell out of Israel and anybody that looks at you the wrong way too, huh?

      April 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
      • Iran

        zionist BS

        April 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
      • mardjan

        Why would we look at anyone the wrong way anyway? Israel's daily threats to attack Iran actually increases support for Iran's nuclear program in many parts of the world. It is one thing to say that you attack your neighbors who are of comparable size, but frankly, to say that you want to attack a large country such as Iran, with it's heavy fortification, 2000 miles away "because they pose a threat" is beyond war mongering. Here in the Us we don't want any part of it. Actually Israel, by warmongering, is handing the Iranians their justification for getting a bomb.

        April 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • michaelfury

        April 16, 2012 at 7:42 am |
      • Jim

        well said

        April 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
      • Dom

        The US and Iran have been in a "cold war" since 1979 when Iran kidnapped US citizens and then held them for ransom. The US should have invaded Iran then – since that was an act of war. Instead there has been a Cold War which has included Iran supporting terroism like the bombing in Lebanon that kill 250+ US solders. The only question now is when does the war go from Cold to Hot. This is why Iran is building nukes – they know it is only a matter of time until the US gets revenge and in the process they are giving the US what it needs to justify the invasion. As soon as the US is out of Afganistan the war with Iran will begin. They only thing that can stop it – or postpone it – would be North Korea needing an attitude adjustment.

        April 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Buzzer

      Marjdan- Funny how the talk of pre-emptive surgical strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities (extremely limited "war" type actions) only started after indications of Iran developing nuclear weapons and the talk of wiping Israel from the face of the earth...Isreal has never made such am "offensive" threat FIRST against Iran or any other ME country in its history.

      April 16, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
  16. Iran

    TEHRAN – The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations has said that Tehran will not negotiate with the major powers over its

    inalienable rights.

    Ambassador Mohammad Khazaii made the remarks during an interview with the Washington-based radio network NPR on February 9.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to engage in negotiations with the 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France,

    Russia, China, and Germany), but it will not negotiate over its inalienable rights, Khazaii stated.

    Furthermore, Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is not after acquiring military

    atomic technology but resolute to continue with its nuclear energy program.

    We “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,” he added.
    Iran is determined to continue nuclear energy program, US sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities have been


    He also said that Tehran will send a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the six

    major powers in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

    Iran is ready to hold serious talks without preconditions, he added.



    But those who think that Iran will change its logical and principled policy under the pressure of sanctions, threats are

    mistaken, Khazaii said, adding that the Islamic Republic has never made concessions on its absolute rights.

    April 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • Dom

      US and Iran will be at war by this time next year. Terrorism is a tool used in a Cold War. This is nothing new – and Iran, Isreal and the US have all used it. But all it does is waste time. The US will need a new place to test drones, nuetron bombs, and other weapons once they are out of Afganistan – and Iran will be a great place to tune all that technology. The Iranians are stupid. Real stupid. They are going to give the US all the justification it needs with this whole nuclear dispute – and it won't matter if they have a nuke or not. What are they going to do with it? Fire it at Isreal and then the US shoots it down over Iran?? Iran needs to give up this quest for a nuke and save themselves...

      April 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  17. James

    CNN writes: "As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran has the right, like other countries, to enrich uranium for commercial and research reactors. But the same facilities that are used for peaceful enrichment can be used to enrich uranium for a bomb, and inspectors say they have not been able to fully gauge Iran's intentions."

    The fact is that Iran is exerting its rights under NPT. How do you gauge Iran's or anybody's intentions ? That is nonsense to punish a country or threaten it with war because you say we cannot gauge their intentions !!

    April 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • frank

      Duh, a good way o discern "intentions" is to open your ears. First though, put away the hookah.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
  18. Wastrel

    Talk talk talk, and Iran will continue making progress toward getting The Bomb. They won't allow inspections, they have bomb-proof facilities underground, they support terrorists and they want to push Israel into the sea. So, let's talk.

    April 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • mardjan

      They are in good company, we don't allow inspections in the US, we have bomb proof facilities and we support terrorism, at least against Iranians, as lkong as they want to talk we are ready. We have much more in common than we care to admit.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
      • Buzzer

        The "inspections" are for countries that are suspected of developing nuclear weapons counter to their claim of "peaceful purposes". Why do we need to "inspect" the U.S.? Inspect to verify or disprove they have nukes? We all know the answer to that question bonehead...

        April 16, 2012 at 5:54 am |
      • frank

        another american muslim apologist spewing crap, "US supports terrorism against Iran"! what utter nonsense. iran funds arms and trains "fighters" to kill americans in Afghanistan and Iraq not to mention the marine barracks its proxy hezbollah blew up in lebanon and this muslim apologist/propagandist has the gall to blame the US for terrorism against Iran! sheer BS

        April 16, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Qurtail

        Frank you have your head so far your ass that you have lost contact with reality. Fucking moron.

        April 17, 2012 at 1:33 am |

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