The world powers negotiating with Iran have not decided on how, or if, negotiations that began in April should continue, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said Thursday. Shapiro, speaking to Israel Radio, added that US President Barack Obama was committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear arms.
“We are working together with Israel and many partners in the international community to put pressure on Iran,” said Shapiro. “There are very tough sanctions, and there are also the negotiations with the P5+1. We have not yet decided with our partners how to continue negotiations, or if to continue negotiations, but we are in full coordination with Israel and other partners.”
At last month’s talks in Moscow, which failed to produce any results, it was decided that three lower-level meetings would be held. The first, between technical experts, was held 3 July in Istanbul. The second, between the EU’s Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid and her Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheir, was held away from the press and in a secret location in Istanbul on Tuesday this week. The last meeting, between EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili is to follow in the coming days.
Ashton will be representing the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – with the aim of, according to reports, seeing whether there is any room to return to high-level political negotiations.
The P5+1 are demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium at 20 per cent, transfer its stockpile of 20 per cent enriched uranium out of the country, and close the Fordow underground enrichment facility near Qom.