Iran and six world powers have agreed to meet on April 13 for new talks about Tehran’s nuclear program, but the failure of previous meetings and disputes over what should be discussed are keeping them from choosing a venue, diplomats told The Associated Press on Monday, March 26.
No formal announcement about a date and venue for the talks has been made, and Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, insisted in Brussels that even the date is not yet fixed.
But three diplomats from Western nations accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency said the starting date is set and they expect the dispute over the venue to be resolved in time, AP reported.
The bickering between Iran and the world powers over the location after days of talks appeared to reflect the deep differences that have doomed previous meetings during which Iran has refused to even discuss international demands that it curb nuclear activities that could be used as part of a weapons program.
The main stumbling block remains uranium enrichment.
Iran says the expansion of its enrichment program is meant only to provide nuclear fuel, denies any interest in developing the atomic bomb, and says the right of countries to enrich nuclear power is enshrined in the Nonproliferation Treaty.
But the US and others say Iran’s nuclear record is causing concern. Tehran started enriching in secret, has refused offers of nuclear fuel shipments from abroad, and last year began enriching to higher levels that bring it closer to point where it could turn its program into producing fissile warhead material at an underground bunker that could be impervious to attack from the air.