BAGHDAD: There is no basis yet for another round of negotiations with the P5+1 world powers after the current talks in Baghdad, an Iranian official said on Thursday as the final session here got underway.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton “didn't say anything new this morning” in a bilateral meeting with Iran earlier Thursday, the official said on condition of anonymity.
“It seems that the base for another round of negotiations doesn't exist yet, unless in the coming two hours the two sides reach an agreement.”
On Wednesday Ashton, on behalf the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France and Germany, made a new set of proposals reportedly demanding Iran freeze the most sensitive part of its nuclear work, 20-per cent uranium enrichment.
The group's main aim is finding the basis to agree to get into a lengthy process of regular negotiations aimed at hashing out the details of measures that build confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran's activities.
In return the P5+1 offered a set of incentives that however fell short of meeting Iran's main demand for any suspension, namely the easing of the crippling UN and unilateral sanctions piled on the country in recent years.
Reflecting official thinking, Iranian state media, including the Islamic Republic News Agency, all called the proposals “outdated, not comprehensive and unbalanced”.
Iran made a five-step counter-proposal that an official said was “based on the principles of step-by-step and reciprocity”, which the ISNA news agency called “comprehensive... transparent and practical”.
“The other party knows the Iranian answer to their proposal, but we didn't receive any response to our proposal. Maybe the level of the delegations is not high enough to be able to take decisions,” the official said on Thursday.
He said that the United States “is backtracking in comparison with Istanbul because in Istanbul their position was more positive,” referring to the previous P5+1 talks with Iran in mid-April, the first in 15 months.
“We didn't discuss about the venue or the date of another round of negotiations because we didn't reach this step in our negotiations,” the official added.