Iran nuclear talks continue despite US ‘dead end’

Image copyright RT.com Image caption Iran has put to rest the question of whether the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps will be recognised as a foreign state Iran has agreed to begin talks again on…

Iran nuclear talks continue despite US 'dead end'

Image copyright RT.com Image caption Iran has put to rest the question of whether the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps will be recognised as a foreign state

Iran has agreed to begin talks again on a resolution to the row over its nuclear programme.

The agreement, which has a deadline of the end of November, was made between Iran and the EU in order to demonstrate that the dispute is behind them.

The first round of talks took place in early August, but talks with the US were suspended a month later over disagreements about the inspections regime.

The US followed the UK and France with an Iranian invitation, while Israel rejected the initiative, saying Tehran had reached “another dead end”.

Despite some successes in nuclear talks – including the removal of tough international sanctions – diplomacy between Iran and the six world powers was “a disappointment”, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

New push

Iran will now resume negotiations after the completion of its regional reconciliation process with Arab countries and the EU’s upcoming trade mission to Tehran.

The four other main nations apart from the US, Russia and China – Britain, France, Germany and China – are not part of the six-country group.

It is unclear whether the talks will discuss the US request for the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to carry out inspections of Iranian military bases.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has pledged that the talks will not deal with bilateral issues.

Instead they will focus on the framework of Iran’s nuclear programme.

At the talks in Vienna, Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif and IAEA head Yukiya Amano agreed the start of the negotiations.

However, the talks could take months, as the IAEA has still to fulfil the conditions for resuming its inspection of Iranian nuclear sites – including the defence ministry, military bases and nuclear facilities in the military garrison cities of Qom and the central city of Mashhad.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Speaking to reporters, Mr Amano hailed the three-way agreement

Mr Amano praised the new process as “an important confidence-building measure” for Iran and all six signatories.

He said: “During the course of these talks I am determined to work with the nuclear-related Iranian authorities and European counterparts in order to … determine and clarify such important areas of nuclear transparency.”

Iran has promised to continue negotiations on issues affecting the two-year process, but said it would demand that the 5+1 group send a “clear signal” that it has put the nuclear issue behind it.

“If we have negative measures,” Zarif said, “which are hard to understand, then we will go back to all avenues, if not including a military enrichment capability, then other potential paths are open to us”.

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