Languages: ENNL

Tue 26 to Wed 27 Feb 2013

World powers and Iran renew nuclear talks

A new round of negotiations between Iran and six world powers (P5+1) takes place over the Islamic republic's contentious nuclear program in a bid to end an eight-month long period of stalled international diplomacy.  

Iran's Supreme National Security Council announced that the agreement had been made during a phone call between Ali Bagheri, Iran's deputy nuclear negotiator and his European Union counterpart Helga Schmid on February 5.

The talks had originally been scheduled for January 28 but Iran refused to attend the meeting due to new sanctions imposed on Tehran by the United Nations. 

Political directors from China, the US, Russia, France, Britain and Germany proposed the talks at the end of last year after they  met to consider new negotiation tactics on November 21, for the first time since the  US elections .

The call for the resumption of nuclear talks with Iran was issued soon after the release of reports that Tehran is enriching growing amounts of uranium in an underground bunker.

Israel and the West suspect Iran has been using its uranium enrichment program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran, however, denies the allegations and demands the Western sanctions  on its economy be lifted. 

Analysts warn that time to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis is running out as Israel has threatened to bomb Iran's nuclear sites if diplomacy fails.

"There certainly is a window to do a deal, but that window is closing, and closing fast. Ultimately it depends on the Iranians meeting their international obligations," said Ariel Ratner, a former political appointee on Middle East issues at the US State Department. 

The IAEA held  talks with Iran on the issue on December 13, 2012 and again on January 16. - Iran says talks with big powers to be held in January on 2013-04-01 - Six world powers hope to meet Iran for atom talks in Februar on 2013-01-28 - Iran Says It Is Set for Nuclear Talks, but West Is Skeptical on 2013-02-03

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