Iran announces ‘new’ nuclear program proposals

Iran said it voiced on Friday new proposals concerning its nuclear program to the group of six international negotiators comprising five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany (P5+1).

Iran’s new plan is meant to bring about “the beginning of new cooperation” with its negotiating partners, said Ali Bagheri, the deputy head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

The plan expands on the initiatives presented during last year’s round of talks in Moscow, Bagheri said. No details of the plan were available to the press on day one of the two-day talks in Kazakhstan’s capital Almaty, which is hosting the second round of talks between Iran and P5+1 members since February.

Iran insists on its right to a peaceful nuclear program, but the P5+1 countries say they fear Tehran may be aiming to produce atomic weaponry. Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said ahead of the talks on Friday that international negotiators may recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium, but only if Tehran proves the peaceful nature of its nuclear research.

“Talks are difficult but interesting, we’re getting new twists, new approaches,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said after the first day of talks in Almaty. “I’m unable to predict how tomorrow’s [session] will end,” Ryabkov added.