1st Iran Nuke Talks 'Constructive'

Catherine Ashton sees 'sustained process of dialog'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2012 5:16 PM CDT
Iran's Chief Nuclear Negotiator Saeed Jalili speaks to the media after day-long talks with six world powers in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, April 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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(Newser) – Negotiators on all sides are saying nice things after Iran and six world powers began nuclear talks with a meeting in Istanbul today, the New York Times reports. The discussion was "useful and constructive," said European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, leader of the talks. “We want now to move to a sustained process of dialog." But the only accomplishment they announced was agreeing to another round of talks in Baghdad on May 23.

Britain said there was "a long way to go," and France urged Iran "to make urgent and concrete gestures to establish confidence" that its nuclear program is peaceful, the BBC reports. The White House praised Iran's "positive attitude" and called today's meeting a "first step." Hopes are running high that these negotiations—the first in a year—may prove fruitful because Iran is creaking under the strain of sanctions. But Iran will not allow preconditions for talks and said it will bring its own proposals in May.

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