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US Hardens Stance In Iran Nuclear Talks

Iran was prepared to discuss halting 20% enrichment in Moscow, but refused other conditions that could have meant an end to the nuclear standoff. Laura Rozen and Barbara Slavin write that the western members of the P5+1 insisted that Iran meet all the conditions in their proposal, which may indicate that the US has hardened its position.
Michael Mann, spokesman of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, speaks to the media in Baghdad May 23, 2012. A proposal by the six, led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, would address concerns over Iran's enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, Mann said after the talks started. That is the issue that most worries the West. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY)

Iran came to talks in Moscow last week (June 18-19) prepared to discuss stopping enriching uranium to 20% but refused two other conditions that could have led to a partial agreement in the nuclear standoff.

Briefings by diplomats whose countries took part in the talks portrayed the meetings as a "dialogue of the deaf," with the two sides trading widely divergent proposals. However, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator did express willingness to discuss one key step requested by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1): stopping enrichment of uranium to 20% U-235, the isotope that gives uranium its explosive power.

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