Talks are resuming between Iran and six world powers over its controversial nuclear programme.
The EU’s diplomatic chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading the delegation, arrived in the Iraqi capital Baghdad where the meeting is being held at Iran’s request.
Hours beforehand, Iran warned the US against imposing further sanctions and said any attempt to put pressure on Tehran would be futile.
But the Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi added that he was optimistic and hoped to bring good news.
The meeting follows talks between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, which is trying to gain better accesss to the country’s nuclear facilities.
Washington and its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies.
EU governments say plans to introduce a total embargo of Iranian crude oil imports from July won’t be cancelled unless Tehran takes steps to curb its nuclear activities.