September 2, 2009 in Nation/World

Iran ready to reopen nuclear program talks

Borzou Daragahi Los Angeles Times

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said Tuesday that the country is prepared to resume talks with world powers over its contentious nuclear technology program and that it has prepared a package of proposals for future discussions.

Saeed Jalili, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and its point person on the nuclear issue, did not disclose details of the package but said it would be an updated version of one it submitted last year. That package was criticized by the West for failing to address key points of disagreement.

Still, Jalili’s comments were the most substantive official remarks on the nuclear issue since Iran’s contentious June 12 election and could give the Obama administration, which has offered to hold direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program, an opportunity to try to engage Iran before resorting to a fresh round of sanctions.

The U.N. Security Council has demanded that Iran stop producing enriched uranium, which can be used to fuel a power reactor or, if highly refined, serve as fissile material for a nuclear bomb.

Representatives of the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China are to meet today in Frankfurt, Germany, to consider increasing the pressure on Iran.

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