The letter, which had arrived at EU headquarters on Wednesday, was a long-awaited response to a proposal by Ashton in October on behalf of six powers, the so-called P5+1. The last round of talks between the Iran and P5+1 ended in failure in Istanbul in January 2011.
Clinton said in her remarks that the letter from Iran “appeared to acknowledge and accept” the P5+1 group’s framework for new talks.”
“We think this is an important step, and we welcome the letter,” said Clinton. “(Any resumption of talks) will have to be a sustained effort that can produce results,” she added.
“We must be assured that, if we make a decision to go forward, we see a sustained effort by Iran to come to the table, to work until we have reached an outcome that has Iran coming back into compliance with their international obligations,” Clinton said.
Ashton said the letter pointed to a “potential possibility that Iran may be ready to start talks.”
Source: The Washington Post, 18 February 2012