The current Moscow round of talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 over Iran’s nuclear ambitions is unlikely to end in the signing of a final agreement, an Iranian negotiator said on Monday.
The Moscow talks, including the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany (5+1) commenced on Monday and are expected to last until Tuesday. Iran’s team of negotiators is headed by Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili, while EU foreign policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, heads up the Group 5+1 delegation.
“As of right now the chances of making progress in Moscow are very small, minimal,” the Iranian delegate said, adding Iran has no reason to alter its position.
“We have our principles. If the Group of Six accepts our proposals we will be ready to accept theirs.”
His view was echoed by an EU spokesman.
“In terms of any adjustments, no, what is on the table is what was put on the table in Baghdad,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for the European Union’s top foreign policy official, Catherine Ashton. “It’s in black and white on paper, and it’s there for all to see, so we’re hoping they can take it point by point.”
He described the atmosphere at the talks as “businesslike” adding that they are due to last until evening.
Iran may agree to a new round of talks if progress is made in Moscow, a member of the Iranian delegation said.
“This is possible if a step forward is made at the Moscow negotiations,” he said, adding it was too soon to speak about any results of the meeting yet.
He also said the Moscow talks could end on Monday, not Tuesday, as planned.
The Group 5+1 want Tehran to stop uranium enrichment, in return offering to supply it with fuel for a medical research reactor in Tehran, which requires 20-percent uranium, and to ease sanctions against the sale of commercial aircraft parts to Iran.
Iran says its nuclear program is merely designed to generate energy. The United States has warned it will tighten sanctions against Iran if the Moscow negotiations fail to make progress on limiting the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.