Ahmadinejad: Nuclear talks a step forward

"Yesterday's negotiation is regarded as one of these forward-moving negotiations," Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad: Nuclear talks a step forward
Iran's president described talks with world powers on the country's nuclear programme as a step forward, the official IRNA news agency said on Sunday.

At Saturday's meeting in Geneva, the six major powers gave Iran two weeks to answer calls to suspend its nuclear activities or face tougher sanctions after talks ended in stalemate despite unprecedented U.S. participation.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said Tehran would not discuss a demand to freeze atomic work at the next meeting.

But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an upbeat assessment. "Any negotiation that takes place is a step forward," he told reporters, according to IRNA.

"Yesterday's negotiation is regarded as one of these forward-moving negotiations," Ahmadinejad said.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after some six hours of talks in Geneva he hoped for a clear answer from Tehran in around two weeks to a world powers offer of trade and technical incentives to halt uranium enrichment.

Envoys from the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain -- the so-called sextet of world powers -- also attended the meeting in the Swiss city.

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki described the U.S. decision to attend the meeting in Geneva as a "positive procedural step" which he hoped would lead to mutually beneficial results, IRNA said.

The United Nations 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.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, says its nuclear programme is intended to generate electricity.


Reuters
Last Mod: 20 Temmuz 2008, 19:14
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