World powers are reviving stalled talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear programme, kicking off a two day meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Initial reports suggest some progress could be achieved this time – with the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany expected to offer Iran some sanctions relief if it agrees to stop its most sensitive nuclear work.
Iran has been suffering under the weight of economic sanctions and political analyst Hassan Hanizadeh says continuing with them risks more intransigence:
“It seems that if the sanctions go on, the Iranian people and Tehran will insist more forcefully on keeping the nuclear programme. Continued sanctions would bring the nation and the government closer together,” Hanizadeh says.
Iran insists its nuclear initiatives are for peaceful purposes only, but the international community is concerned that it has been enriching uranium to 20 percent – a key step in being able to produce weapons-grade material.
On Monday, the US said the time for a diplomatic solution was running short. Israel has threatened to use force if other means fail.