US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Washington might be willing to enter negotiations with Iran if it temporarily suspends its nuclear programme. Her comments appear to indicate a softening of position. Until now, the US had planned to seek UN sanctions against Iran because of its refusal to comply with international demands. Tehran has offered a two month enrichment freeze during top level talks in Vienna. EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana and Iran’s Chief Negotiator Ali Larijani both described the weekend’s meeting as constructive.
The aim was to establish a foundation for formal negotiations to end the stalemate over Tehran’s uranium enrichment activity. Solana and Larijani hope to hold another round of talks later this week. The West believes Iran is secretly trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran says it only wants to produce low-grade enriched fuel for power plants.