Deccan Chronicle

Iran N-talks ‘positive’: Russia


Vienna, April 15: Russia said Thursday that the latest talks in Vienna to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal were positive despite fresh tensions, with Tehran preparing to ramp up uranium enrichment in response to an attack on a facility it blamed on arch-foe Israel. The latest round of negotiatio­ns took place between diplomats over roughly two hours on Thursday afternoon, with Russia's ambassador to the UN in Vienna Mikhail

Ulyanov tweeting afterwards that the “general impression is positive”.

He added Thursday's talks “will be followed by a number of informal meetings in different formats, including at expert level”.

The talks comprised delegation­s from the remaining parties to the deal — Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia and Iran.

An European diplomat had said that Iran's announceme­nt that it would enrich uranium up to 60 percent “puts pressure on everyone”. The move would take Iran closer to the 90 percent purity level needed for use in a nuclear weapon.

EU external affairs spokespers­on Peter Stano described the announceme­nt as “extremely worrisome from a nuclear nonprolife­ration point of view”. “There is no credible or plausible civilian justificat­ion for such a decision,” Stano said.

Meanwhile, Iranian President

Hassan Rouhani restated the country's longstandi­ng position that “we are not seeking to obtain the atomic bomb”, saying it was a “mistake” for Europe and the United States to express concern that Iran could “enrich to 90 percent in one go”.

Tehran says the enrichment move is a response to Israel's “nuclear terrorism” after an explosion on Sunday knocked out power at its Natanz plant.

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