Iran-West Nuclear Talks to Start without US

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- France, Britain and Germany would soon start their preliminary talks with Iran to solve the nuclear issue, while Washington is said to be either unwilling or excluded from the negotiations.

Citing unnamed German diplomatic sources, weekly Der Spiegel said the goal of this new strategy would be to lure Tehran to the negotiating table to discuss a package of incentives offered by six world powers in June in exchange for a suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

The six powers that made the offer to Iran, the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany, said the package was negotiable but conditioned any negotiations on a suspension of enrichment.

In response Tehran has stressed that it may not suspend its nuclear fuel production prior to negotiations, saying that such a measure should be decided in the course of talks.

Iranian officials have pointed out that if they suspend their uranium enrichment activities as a precondition to nuclear talks with the west, then there would be nothing left to discuss.

Meantime, diplomatic sources said that a decision by the EU3 – France, Germany and Britain – to begin preliminary talks with Iran would require a positive outcome of discussions between European Union foreign policy Chief Javier Solana and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.

Apparently, the United States has decided not join in any talks with Iran until a full enrichment suspension was in place, a demand which has been ruled out by Tehran who believes that it is entitled to nuclear enrichment activities as long as it complies with the international and Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) rules and regulations.

After several delays, Solana and Larijani are expected to meet somewhere in Europe next week, and diplomats said that the meeting would probably take place in Brussels.

The six powers have agreed to give Solana until early October to reach a deal with Tehran for starting negotiations.

The new plan was discussed at a meeting of senior officials of the six countries and the EU in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced no direct approval to this strategy but signaled she could tolerate it, Der Spiegel reported.

Tehran views its upcoming talks with the EU as a positive step and welcomed independent stances and policies of the European Union.

Many Iranian officials in recent days praised the EU and UN Security Council permanent states (except for the US) for adopting an independent policy and separating their line of action from the United States, saying that they are happy to see the other side resort to logic and rationality.

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