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Hints of progress, but no progress yet in Iran nuclear talks

Iran state TV cites a "comprehensive package of proposals," and western officials may offer sanction relief in exchange for some nuclear work stoppage.

Iran nuke speech 2 26 2013Enlarge
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at a ceremony at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility on April 9, 2007 in Iran. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

Iran and officals from world powers began the latest round of talks on Tuesday in an attempt to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's much-debated nuclear program.

Terhan is reportedly willing to offer concessions if the the UN Security Council and Germany - the P5 +1 - offer sanctions relief, according to Reuters.

"The offer addresses the international concern on the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, but it is also responsive to Iranian ideas," said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, according to the Associated Press.

Press TV, Iran's state run news outlet, reported the Islamic Republic will "present a new comprehensive package."

Citing anonymous sources from the Iranian delegation, Press TV wrote, "the proposals are dynamic and will determine the intentions of the West."

"The Iranian negotiators said the comprehensive package could change based on the proposals the P5+1 group (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany) is going to make," Press TV wrote.

Still, as Reuters points out, few expect the talks - which will continue into Wednesday - to conclude with a final solution to this seemingly intractable issue. Hopefully, negotiations will ease tensions that have sharply escalated this past year, and result in a few practical steps. 

"It is clear that nobody expects to come from Almaty with a fully-done deal," said Mann in a news conference after the talks began.

Despite crippling economic sanctions and a debilitating oil embargo, Iran has continued to enrich uranium and advance its nuclear program.

The West suspects Iran of developing nuclear weapons technology. Iran states its nuclear aspirations are strictly peaceful, and that under the Non-Proliferation Treaty it has a sovereign right to nuclear power.

Tuesday's talks in Almaty follow last year's unresolved meetings in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow, according to Reuters.   

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/diplomacy/130226/hints-of-progress-but-no-progress-yet-in-iran-nuclear-talk