More Iran nuclear talks scheduled for next month in Moscow

McClatchy NewspapersMay 25, 2012 

BAGHDAD — Talks between six global powers and Iran over that country's nuclear program ended in Baghdad Thursday without results but negotiators set a date to meet again next month in Moscow.

"Significant problems remain," said Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top foreign policy official and the head for the so-called 5+1 delegation, told a news conference. "What we have now is some common ground, and a meeting in place where we can take that further forward."

The six powers — U.N. Security Council members Britain, France, the United States, China, and Russia plus Germany — and Iran's negotiators apparently were unable to come to agreement on measures to limit Iran's enrichment of uranium, a key step to the construction of a nuclear weapons. Iran's negotiators said the six powers had offered no easing of sanctions in return for its allowing new inspections of nuclear sites.

Iran state TV said earlier this week, "We have had 35 rounds of talks with the West and never have they made serious offers beyond small gestures." After the talks began Wednesday, Iranian media described the proposal from the six powers as "unbalanced."

Still, the meeting was hailed as a step in the right direction.

“We’re getting to things that matter,” said a senior American official on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the talks, “And even if we disagree on the shape, we think there is the beginning of a negotiation."

Iran's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, described the talks as "intensive and long"

"The talks in Baghdad were detailed, but unfinished," he said. "The outcome of these talks is that the parties managed to get more informed of each others' stances."

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