Multination Iran nuclear talks to resume

Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:01 PM
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MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Multinational talks over the fate of Iran's nuclear program are set to resume later this month, German and U.S. officials confirmed.

The United States, Germany, France, Great Britain, China and Russia all will participate in negotiations with an intermediary of Tehran's foreign ministry with the hope of securing an end to Iran's nuclear enrichment process.

The Iranians have long claimed their nuclear ambitions are aimed at domestic energy production, not creating a nuclear weapon but have continually stymied international efforts to monitor the program and facilities.

The negotiations will take place starting Feb. 25 in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet bloc republic, The Guardian of London said Sunday.

Experts told the paper if these negotiations are to succeed where others have failed, the NATO allies must be clear in what they are willing to give Iran in exchange for specific progress in slowing its nuclear ambitions.

Vali Nasr, a former state department adviser and now dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, said: "It will not be useful to go back with the same offer. There now has to be a serious conversation between the U.S. and the Europeans to get their ducks in a row. They have to be clear on what the Iranians will get in return for doing X, Y or Z."

Still, Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at an international conference in Munich, Germany, said U.S. participation is contingent only on Iran's actual dedication to talks.

"We're not prepared to do it just for the exercise," he said.

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