Iran, West wait for UN meeting in New York

Iran, West wait for UN meeting in New York

Iran, West wait for UN meeting in New York

Iran’s Jalili (L) meets with EU’s Ashton at the consulate of Iran in Istanbul.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili reported progress in talks aimed at restarting negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program, calling a meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton “positive and fruitful.”

“We had fruitful talks with Lady Ashton,” Jalili told a news conference held in Istanbul yesterday, a day after talks with Ashton, who represents the P5+1, a group consisting of the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany. “We hope our talks last night will contribute to an ongoing process for better understanding,” Agence France-Presse quoted Jalili as saying.

Common points

The meeting between Ashton and Jalili over the dispute on Iran’s nuclear drive marked the first direct talks seen since June. Jalili said the two had assessed some “common points” reached by technical teams looking into the issue and had discussed “what could be done for a new cooperation,” the Associated Press reported. “We hope [our] talks can help bring the common points closer together,” he said.

In Brussels, Ashton’s office said she aimed to meet with world powers in the coming days “in order to assess the situation and to discuss the way forward.” Earlier, the European Union had released a brief statement saying the talks were “useful and constructive” and “an important opportunity to stress once again to Iran the urgent need to make progress.” The European Union said Ashton would brief representatives of the P5+1 next week in New York.

The foreign ministers of the P5+1 are due in New York for the U.N. General Assembly going into a ministerial week, which is due to formally begin Sept. 24. Ashton plans to meet them in a bid to get stop-start international diplomacy over Tehran’s atomic program moving again. Jalili said Tehran would wait for the results of the P5+1 evaluation after their meeting with Ashton.