Multilateral talks on Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme opened in Geneva on Thursday afternoon. Iranian representatives held discussions with representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France – along with Germany.
The representatives agreed to meet again at the end of October. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the multilateral talks were productive but she wanted Iran to move from gestures to results. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a press conference at UN headquarters in Geneva that the talks were held in “a constructive atmosphere”.
It is not clear if the talks will lead to any concrete results; Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili told his opposite numbers at the talks that Tehran will never give up its absolute rights to pursue nuclear technology. Iran has already ignored five UN resolutions calling on it to suspend its nuclear activities. Western nations believe Iran is seeking to produce nuclear weapons, an accusation that Tehran has strenuously denied. However, Tehran’s credibility was damaged earlier this week when it revealed it was building a second secret nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom.
On the sidelines of the nuclear talks, US and Iranian representatives held their highest level talks for more than three decades. Iran has refused to comment on the bilateral discussions.