Reuters: The European Union's foreign policy chief is willing to meet Iran's chief negotiator soon, after Tehran replied to a package of incentives from major powers for it to curb its nuclear programme, an EU spokeswoman said on Saturday.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union's foreign policy chief is willing to meet Iran's chief negotiator soon, after Tehran replied to a package of incentives from major powers for it to curb its nuclear programme, an EU spokeswoman said on Saturday.
She said EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana held first telephone consultations on Saturday on Iran's written response to proposals he delivered to Tehran last month on behalf of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
"One of the things to decide is to meet (Iranian national security chief Saeed) Jalili, and if so when. In principle, the position is to respond favourably," Solana's spokeswoman, Cristina Gallach, told Reuters.
She said Jalili had requested such a meeting in a telephone call with Solana on Friday in which he stressed "common ground".
Gallach declined to give details of the content of the Iranian reply, saying the major powers were still studying the four-page letter from Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and holding consultations.
The U.N. Security Council has imposed three rounds of mild sanctions on Iran over its refusal to comply with international demands to suspend the enrichment of nuclear fuel, which the West suspects its aimed at developing weapons.
The Islamic Republic insists its programme is purely for civilian energy purposes and has said it will never give up what it regards as its legal right to enrichment.
It was not clear whether Mottaki's letter addressed Solana's proposal for a six-week preliminary phase of talks in which Tehran would stop adding new centrifuges to its uranium enrichment programme, while the six powers would undertake not to make any new moves on sanctions.
The major powers have said they will only enter formal negotiations on the package of economic, technological and political incentives if Iran suspends all uranium enrichment.
In Tehran, government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said Iran had no intention of discussing its "right to enriching uranium".
"Iran's stance has not changed (on uranium enrichment) and we are ready to hold talks in the framework of preserving Iran's nuclear rights," he told a news conference.
(Reporting by Paul Taylor, editing by Sami Aboudi)