For three hours on Wednesday afternoon, representatives of six world powers and Iran sat in the official guest house of Baghdad’s secure “Green Zone” and discussed Iran’s nuclear program. At this point, there are still no signs of a breakthrough but the afternoon round of talks achieved some progress.
After EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is managing the talks on behalf of six major world powers (United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany), presented a package of confidence-building measures, the Iranian delegation submitted for the first time its own proposal.
The written proposal submitted by the Iranian negotiating team, which is led by Saeed Jalili, includes five points. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that some of the points dealt with the nuclear program while the rest dealt with other unrelated matters. According to the same report, the Iranians are offering a series of practical steps that each side will carry out in exchange for the other side’s step. The Iranians emphasized that their proposal is based on the principles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
After the afternoon talks, the sides took a break for a few hours to hold internal discussions on the proposals they had received. In the coming hours, the talks in Baghdad will be renewed and will probably continue on Thursday. It is also expected that a meeting will be held between Ashton and Jalili, without the representatives of other powers. A separate meeting is expected to be held between Jalili and the Chinese representative.
For more, go to Haaretz.com