Optimism after resumption of Iranian nuclear talks

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Optimism after resumption of Iranian nuclear talks

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Talks between Iran and the international community in Geneva over its nuclear research programme have ended with both sides
agreeing to meet again on November 7. The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the discussion had been “the most detailed ever”.

For the first time both agreed on a joint statement, and the phrase “substantive and forward-looking” was used to describe the talks.

“Building on the positive atmosphere of the first ministerial meeting held in New York on the 26 September, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran presented an outline of a plan as a proposed basis for negotiation which is being carefully considered by the
E3 +3 as an important contribution,” said Ashton.

For Iran’s foreign minister one negotiator matters above all others, and he took pains to make that clear.

“We want to see the actions of the United States be commensurate with the words that have been uttered by the highest officials of the United States in that they want to deal with Iran based on mutual respect and mutual interest on an equal footing, and in fact to move towards a resolution of this issue,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif.

These are the first high-level talks on Iran’s nuclear programme since President Hassan Rohani came to power, and they appear to confirm that, if not a wind, then a breeze of change is blowing in Tehran.