May 19, 2013
Powers, Iran discuss detail of possible nuclear deal
World powers and Iran held unusually detailed talks today about how it could show its nuclear work is not a disguised quest for atom bombs, in a Baghdad meeting aimed at halting a slide toward a new Middle East war.
After a 15-month diplomatic freeze which saw tensions soar, and exploratory talks in Istanbul last month, the six powers were testing Iran's readiness to curb its disputed uranium enrichment program, under pressure of harsher sanctions.Iran warned again that it would not give in to pressure, but both sides were upbeat about the scope for an outline deal as the meeting between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain began in the Iraqi capital.
"We had a detailed exchange this morning. (We) presented our package, the atmosphere was businesslike and meetings will continue this afternoon," a Western diplomat close to the negotiations told reporters.
The powers' overall goal is an Iranian agreement to measures that would allay suspicions it is using its nuclear energy program as a cover for designing atomic bombs. Iran's priority will be to negotiate relief from sanctions damaging its economy.