Iran is stalling on fixing a date and venue for a new round of talks with world powers on its nuclear program, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said today.
“We proposed concrete dates and a venue in December,” said Michael Mann, the EU spokesman. “Since then, we have been very surprised to see Iran come back to us again and again with new pre-conditions on the modalities of the talks, for example by changing the venue and delaying their responses.” (Reuters, 23 January)
Iran’s semi-official news agency reported today that Iran proposed Cairo as a possible venue, without giving any dates for the conference. Western diplomats had hoped that a new round could take place in December or January.
“The (world powers) are still hoping to reach agreement with Iran on the modalities of the talks, including venue, with a view to resuming talks shortly,” a Western diplomat involved in setting up the meeting told Reuters. “We do not exclude any, but Iran is proposing different venues all the time. The venue is not the issue, but Iran appears to be trying to delay the process by coming up with new conditions,” the diplomat said.
File photo: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. 17 January 2013.