Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

US, Iran in unprecedented nuclear talks

©

Latest update : 2008-07-19

US envoy William Burns (right) meets with chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili (centre) for talks in Geneva, a day after Condoleezza Rice said the US had modified its Iran position.

 

Major world powers will sound out Iran's readiness to negotiate an end to the long dispute over its nuclear programme on Saturday.

 

The unprecedented participation of a senior U.S. official in the one-day meeting in Geneva, together with Iranian comments playing down the likelihood of an attack by the United States and Israel, have raised hopes of progress.

 

Signs of easing tension have helped knocked the price of oil off recent record highs, but the optimism was tempered by a U.S. insistence that despite the presence of its envoy William Burns, real negotiations cannot begin until Iran has frozen sensitive nuclear work, a step Tehran has repeatedly ruled out.

 

"That remains the U.S. position and it will continue to be the U.S. position," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a news conference in Washington of the precondition.

 

Arriving for talks with officials from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany -- the so-called sextet -- chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said he had "positive intentions".

 

Jalili has a mandate from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to take any decision needed, a senior Iranian official told Reuters, adding that the meeting "will clarify the fate of the negotiations".

 

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, rejects suspicions that it wants the atom bomb, saying the aim of the programme is to generate electricity so that it can export more crude oil and gas.

 

 

 

RESPONSE TO OFFER

 

Western diplomats say they want the talks to clarify Iran's response to an enhanced sextet offer, delivered last month, of technical and commercial incentives to suspend uranium enrichment.

 

"We are interested in creating conditions in a creative manner to start negotiations," said a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who presented the offer to Tehran.

 

But Iran appeared to rule out one option being discussed in the sextet when the senior official said Tehran would not be willing to freeze expansion of its nuclear programme if the U.N. Security Council halted further sanctions measures against it.

 

The U.N. has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran in a stand-off that goes back to the revelation in 2002 by an exiled opposition group of the existence of a uranium enrichment facility and heavy water plant in the country.

 

Tension has intensified since Tehran tested missiles last week, alarming Israel and unsettling energy markets on fears that conflict could disrupt supply.

 

Yet oil prices slipped on Friday, ending 13 percent down from last week's record of over $147 a barrel of crude.

 

Traders cited as factors the attendance of Burns -- a career diplomat who helped restore U.S. ties with Libya in 2006 -- and a comment by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki that the chances of an Israeli or U.S. strike were "almost zero".

 

Date created : 2008-07-19

Comments

COMMENT(S)