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Iran yet to give 'concrete response' to nuclear offer

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Iran has yet to give a clear response to a proposal from world powers for ending the decade-long dispute over its nuclear programme, Western officials said on Friday after a first round of talks in Almaty.

"There has not yet been a clear and concrete response to the E3+3 Almaty I proposal" that the powers made at the last nuclear negotiations at the same venue in February, a Western official said in a statement to AFP also backed by a second source.

"Their presentation was pretty much a repetition of what they put forward in Moscow ( at talks last year). There were some not fully explained general comments on our ideas," said the official, who requested not to be named.

The world powers comprised of the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany presented an offer to Iran that included some forms of sanctions relief in exchange for concession from Tehran on its nuclear programme, which the West believes is aimed at producing an atomic bomb.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the powers' chief negotiator, said she expected "a considered, balanced and well-thought out response" from Iran when the two sides met against on Friday morning.

The two-day session continued with another plenary meeting on Friday that began at 1045 GMT, and the Western official said the powers hoped Iran would come up with a more formal response at these new talks.

"We have insisted that at this afternoon's plenary at 4:45 pm (1045 GMT) that they respond in the kind of detail that will enable us to make progress," the Western official said.

zak/sjw

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130405/iran-yet-give-concrete-response-nuclear-offer