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October 29, 2020

Six powers urge Iran to ‘engage seriously’ nuclear talks

Ahead of his trip to Moscow, Ahmadinejad said in an interview that if European provide Tehran with 20 percent enriched fuel, his government is ready to stop enrichment to that level.

The P5+1 group consisting of China, France, Russia, the US, the UK and Germany begun talks Monday with Iran in Moscow with an appeal for the Iranian side to “engage seriously” with an offer to resolve international concerns about the Iranian nuclear program, the Voice of America informs.The group hopes Iran “finally” will negotiate on the proposals they made in the previous round of talks in Baghdad last month. The world powers have been pressing Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, a level that some see as a short-step from the higher purity needed for nuclear weapons. The six-nation group also has been calling for Iran to remove stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium from its territory and shut down an underground facility at Fordo that has been producing the material. In return, the world powers have offered to send Iran nuclear fuel for its medical research reactor and badly-needed spare parts for its aviation industry. Iranian leaders have dismissed such offers in the past as insufficient. In excerpts of the interview published Monday on his website, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that if European nations provide Iran with 20 percent enriched fuel, his government is ready to stop enrichment to that level.  Iran says its enrichment work is for peaceful uses including electricity generation and medical research. But, Israel and Western powers accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy program. An Iranian delegate in Moscow told Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA that the new talks will fail if the world powers do not recognize what Tehran sees as its right to enrich uranium. The Iranian diplomat also said Iran will not agree to further negotiations unless the six-nation group accepts a five-point Iranian proposal offered in Baghdad. EU spokesman Michael Mann told VOA on Monday the six-nation group is “willing to respond” to the Iranian ideas but said they fall short of what he called the “concrete” proposals of the world powers. Russia hopes the new talks will achieve enough progress to lead to more negotiations and prevent a diplomatic failure that could lead to foreign military intervention in Iran.

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