EU's Ashton urges Iran to respond to nuclear offer

ANKARA Wed Apr 3, 2013 11:42am EDT

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) address a joint news conference in Ankara April 3, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) address a joint news conference in Ankara April 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Umit Bektas

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ANKARA (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday Iran must respond to an offer proposed by world powers if this week's nuclear talks were to succeed.

Ashton was speaking in the Turkish capital Ankara before talks on the nuclear dispute with Iran in Kazakhstan on Friday and Saturday, at which she will lead negotiations on behalf of the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

"I remain always cautiously optimistic. But I am also very clear that it is very important that we do get a response (from Iran)," she told reporters when asked about the talks in Almaty.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful but Western powers suspect Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons capability.

The six powers held talks with Iran in Almaty in February when Western officials say they made a proposal intended to break a deadlock in the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

They offered to ease a ban on trade with Iran in gold and other precious metals, and a relaxation of an import embargo on Iranian petrochemical products, the officials say.

In return, Iran would have to suspend uranium enrichment to a fissile concentration of 20 percent at its Fordow facility and "constrain the ability to quickly resume operations there", a U.S. official has said.

The proposals appeared to soften the six powers' previous demands.

Iran has hinted it is not satisfied with the offer, although chief negotiator Saeed Jalili said after the talks in February that the six powers had tried to "get closer to our viewpoint".

Iran says it has a sovereign right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, which include fuelling nuclear power plants so it can export more oil. It denies seeking nuclear weapons.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Jonathon Burch; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Comments (5)
dutch-boy wrote:
these talks can and will go on for years its ti,e we act we talk thay build make them a offer is this bs goes on send in the b2s that thay will understand

Apr 03, 2013 12:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Logical123 wrote:
Talks will succeed if the stupid U.S. and its lackeys come to their senses and stop making ridiculous demands, while offering nothing but peanuts in response.

Iran is no hurry. It has no problem selling oil or trading with numerous other countries. Let the U.S. and Europe shoot themselves in the foot by avoiding trade with Iran.

dutch-boy: Let’s have a B-2 drop a bomb on top of your head so we don’t have to read you nonsense anymore. Where do you live?

Apr 03, 2013 1:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dutch-boy wrote:
logical what ever you are smpking must be strong
you have been reading press tc too long and it has stoped all brain waves
if you can read there oil sale is down that is the reason why thay need to build storage tanks
iran has done nothing the un wants in ten years
when the moron assad gets shot in his head or sent off for war crimes that will help
also check on the price of food in iran when the country spends in the bomb making there people are hungry
also when we take the fat boy out that will solve that problem
look at what the dollar is worth in iran not much thats why thay keep up printing new money
as for your question I live in a house not like you in a tent with the little trolls aka camel jockeys life in the us is great all the freedom we want

Apr 03, 2013 4:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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