Western powers say they are cautiously optimistic after the first talks with Iran over its nuclear programme in more than a year.
Although Tehran has not budged on the key issue of uranium enrichment, talks in Istanbul were described as positive and – importantly – will resume next month in Iraq.
EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said: “We have agreed that the Non-proliferation Treaty forms the key basis for what must be serious engagement to ensure all the obligations under the treaty are met by Iran while fully respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”
It is widely believed in the West that Iran is actually trying to build a nuclear arsenal which Israel is now threatening to eliminate with force.
Analysts say that threat and crippling economic sanctions have brought Iran back to the negotiating table.