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Hopes grow of a confidence-building deal on Iranian nuclear programme
Julian Borger's Security Blog, The Guardian (UK)
Hopes grow of a confidence-building deal on Iranian nuclear programme...
The signals emanating from Tehran in recent days suggest that the upbeat assessment that came out of the Istanbul talks last month was not a flash in the pan.
My understanding is that Ali Bagheri, the deputy Iranian negotiator, got in touch with his opposite number at the EU, Helga Schmid, the day after the Istanbul talks to ensure that the ball kept rolling. In the run-up to the next round of talks in Baghdad next Wednesday, the two have met at an undisclosed location to draw up an agenda.
The talks have been substantive and businesslike. At no point did Bagheri exclude any items from the proposed agenda, and he accepted that the Baghdad talks will involve sensitive aspects of the Iranian nuclear programme, in particular its enrichment of uranium, on condition it also embraced Iran's concerns, principally sanctions. Neither Schmid nor Bagheri has a mandate to cut any deals, but nevertheless, the outline of a possible 'confidence-building package' has emerged from their discussions.
That package would build on the uranium fuel swap deal that Iran came close to agreeing with the international community in 2009, by which it would export some of its enriched uranium stockpile in return for fabricated fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR)......