Iran, world power split on nuclear

Iran, world power split on nuclear

Iran, world power split on nuclear

Iran's ambassador to the the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Asghar Soltanieh, gestures on his way for talks between Iran and the IAEA in Vienna, Austria, 08 June 2012. EPA Photo

Iran and six world powers seeking to coax Tehran into curbing its nuclear activities appear to be coming to talks later this month without resolving the differences that scuttled previous rounds, according to recent letters exchanged between the two sides.

One letter, shared with The Associated Press on June 8, shows Iran seeking an expert-level meeting ahead of the June 18-19 Moscow negotiations to “prepare the necessary ground for the Moscow talks.” In response, a senior European Union representative speaking for the six powers suggests there is no need for such preliminary talks because the six remain committed to their “straightforward proposal” presented at the last meeting in Baghdad. Her letter instead urges Tehran to embrace that proposal, which offers a mix of incentives if Tehran reduces uranium enrichment, which can generate weapons-grade material as well as nuclear fuel.

‘No intention for bomb’

The letters were shared by two diplomats amid a renewed effort in Vienna on June 8 by the U.N. nuclear agency to coax Iran into reopening a long-stalled probe into suspicions that Tehran worked secretly on atomic arms.

World powers are watching the Vienna talks closely for signs of Iranian flexibility ahead of their latest attempt to persuade Tehran to stop enriching uranium to a grade that can be turned quickly into the core of nuclear missiles. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his website also suggested a tough line by Tehran ahead of the Moscow talks. “If Iran wants to build an atomic bomb, it doesn’t fear anyone and will publicly announce it and no one will be able to prevent it,” Ahmadinejad said, while insisting the Iran has no intention of building nuclear weapons.