Talks on Irans nuclear program inconclusive

World powers and Iran wrapped up two days of talks Feb. 27 in Kazakhstan aimed at breaking a decade of deadlock over the Iranian nuclear program, but there was no sign they had achieved any breakthrough.

Experts will meet to discuss Tehran’s nuclear program in Istanbul from March 17 to 18 and negotiations will resume on April 5-6, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

The world powers of the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany described the first day of the talks as “useful” without giving further details. Iran said the talks were a “positive step.” The second day’s meeting lasted just one hour.

The powers made an offer to ease some sanctions on Iran in exchange for concessions on its disputed nuclear program — a proposal discussed in various forms at three previous meetings in the past year.

Western negotiators are banking on hopes that easing some sanctions will make Tehran more agreeable to halting production of 20 percent enriched uranium. They also want Iran to suspend enrichment in its underground Fordow nuclear facility, and to ship its stockpile of high-grade uranium out of the country.

But Tehran has said shutting Fordow is out of the question and that Iran first wants the U.N. Security Council to withdraw all of the sanctions it has heaped on the nation. —