Diplomats said before the meeting began that even general Iranian readiness to accept the need to discuss its enrichment program would be considered enough of a success to warrant a follow-up round.
One of the diplomats, who demanded anonymity because he was sharing information from a closed session, said the Iranians appeared to be moving toward that goal, engaging in discussion about the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
He said the Iranian team had mentioned supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “fatwa,” or prohibition, of nuclear weapons for Iran, in the course of the plenary discussions.
…”I would say there was a very constructive atmosphere compared to last time … generally a positive vibe,” he said. “The principle seems to be there for future negotiations.”
Ashton told reporters later that future talks will be guided by the “principle of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity”, which is a good sign as it shows both sides may be willing to bargain, however there was no bilateral side meeting between the US and Iran, at Iran’s insistence. That said,
IRNA said Iranian diplomats in Istanbul did hold bilateral meetings yesterday with Russian delegates and with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, the main representative of the negotiating group of international powers, as well with the Turkish hosts, who are not party to the negotiations.
Now, on to the next round in Baghdad on May 23rd.
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