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U.S. Official: Israel Briefed on Iran Talks

In their upcoming round of talks next month with Iran over its nuclear program, the six major powers will demand an Iranian commitment to suspend uranium enrichment at the relatively high level of 20 percent, a senior American official said. There has been concern in the West that enrichment at 20 percent would put the Islamic Republic closer to levels required for nuclear weapons.

Nuclear research plants require enrichment levels of 3.5 percent.

The initial round of talks with Iran took place on Saturday in Istanbul with senior representatives of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, also participated in the meeting, which resulted in a joint commitment to pursue further discussions in Baghdad on May 23.

The senior American official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was fully briefed both before and after the Istanbul meeting on the strategy being adopted by the six major powers.

On Sunday Netanyahu was critical of the outcome of the talks, saying that the Iranians had been given a “freebie” by the major powers to pursue their nuclear program without limitations until the Baghdad talks.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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