GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran put forward proposals regarding the stand-off over its nuclear program in talks with six world powers that began in Geneva on Tuesday, a European Union spokesman said.
Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told reporters that Iranian officials presented the ideas in PowerPoint format but he gave no details.
Mann said there was a sense of “cautious optimism” ahead of the two-day meeting and that Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Tehran’s chief negotiator, dined together on Monday evening in a “very positive atmosphere”.
The talks were continuing but Iran “certainly made some proposals this morning,” Mann said, adding the powers were looking for concrete, constructive ideas from the Iranian side. Iranian media said the package was entitled “Closing an unnecessary crisis, opening new horizons” but did not elaborate.
Proposals that the powers - the United States, France, Germany, China, Britain and Russia - put forward earlier this year remained on the table in Geneva but they were prepared to “react” to what Iran suggested, Mann said.
The powers have called for Iran halt its higher-grade uranium enrichment, shut its underground Fordow enrichment plant and ship out some of its uranium stockpile. In return, they offered to relax sanctions on gold, precious metals and petrochemicals trade, but Iran has spurned this as insufficient.
Reporting by Justyna Pawlak and Fredrik Dahl, editing by Mark Heinrich