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March 1, 2021

Iran nuclear crisis: Jalili says talks ‘positive step’

Iran says talks with world powers in Kazakhstan to try to resolve its nuclear crisis were a “positive step”.Chief negotiator Saeed Jalili said the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany (the P5+1) had been “more realistic” than in the past, BBC reports.The EU’s chief delegate said she hoped Iran was “looking positively” at proposals presented at the talks.International powers suspect Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons – a charge Iran strongly denies. Iran insists its purposes are purely civilian, asserting it needs enriched uranium to make medical isotopes.Russia and Iran said technical experts from both sides would meet in March, and the P5+1 group would meet with Iran again in Almaty on 5 and 6 April. The multilateral discussions were the first since a round in July 2012 ended without a breakthrough.At a news conference after the second day of talks concluded, Mr Jalili expressed cautious optimism. “Some of the points raised were more realistic compared to what they [P5+1] said in the past. And they tried to bring proximity in some points between the viewpoints of Iran and their own, which we believe is a positive step, despite the fact that we have a long way to go to reach the optimum point.” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton – the lead negotiator for the world powers – said she hoped Iran would be constructive.

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