Clinton: Nuke talks serious for Iran

Jan. 13, 2011 at 10:34 AM
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DOHA, Qatar, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Iran had better be prepared for serious discussions during next week's nuclear talks in Istanbul, Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Clinton said Wednesday discussions would focus on the international community's concern about Iran's nuclear aspirations and its apparent nose-thumbing at nuclear agreements, The Washington Post reported.

The United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany "will focus on practical steps that Iran must take to address the international community's concerns" about Iran's interpretations on how it upholds its nuclear agreements, Clinton said after a meeting with Arab leaders in Doha, Qatar.

The outcome is expected to be a "settlement that will hold Iran to its responsibilities," she said.

U.S. officials in recent days have expressed confidence about the toll that sanctions are having on Iran's economy, with some saying they were optimistic that the Islamic republic's ruling clerics soon may try to reach a deal would include permanently abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons, the Post said. However, Iran has remained combative, with its chief negotiator, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, this week warning that the Istanbul meeting was a "last chance."

Iran has maintained its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

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