German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has told Iran it must halt uranium enrichment if it wants to negotiate with world powers on its nuclear programme.
But the response from his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki – that talks must be “without pre-conditions” – suggests little movement in the two sides’ positions following today’s talks in Berlin. Iran is considering a package of incentives offered by UN Security Council members and Germany, aimed at getting the Islamic Republic to stop enrichment. In exchange for a suspension, Security Council powers have agreed to halt work on a resolution that could impose sanctions. Amid tight security, police kept Iranian dissidents protesting the visit away from the venue. Washington and its allies suspect Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities are a cover for a weapons programme. Tehran insists its intentions are purely peaceful.