Talks between Iran and a group of six world powers over Iran's nuclear program began in Kazakhstan today, but insiders tell the AP things are already looking less than promising. The American and European coalitions came to ask Iran to reduce its stockpiles of enriched uranium to below the amount needed for weapons, in exchange for relaxed sanctions on the country's gold and petrochemical trade. Instead, an anonymous diplomat says, Iran surprised them by stating it has its own proposal. The terms are not yet clear, but Tehran will likely ask for a much broader sanction reprieve and fixed limits on any concessions it does make.
Both sides want the other to blink first. The Iranian negotiator says it wants the world powers to "accept the inalienable rights” of Iran to enrich uranium, reports the New York Times. But the six countries say Iran must first relinquish its stash and cut production as a sign of good faith. Talks resume tomorrow. In other nuclear-powered news, enough uranium for two nuclear weapons has been removed from the Czech Republic in order to keep it from falling into dangerous hands, reports Reuters. The material has been taken to Russia, where it will be blended down for use in nuclear reactors.