The European Union says its foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, will
meet with Iran's nuclear negotiator on October 1. The EU is describing the
meeting, which will include representatives of six other world powers,
as a first step in finding a diplomatic solution to the standoff over
Iran's nuclear program.
The meeting would be the first
in a year between Iran and what is called the P5 + 1: Britain, Russia,
China, France, Germany, and the United States. Representatives of
these countries are expected to attend the talks beginning October 1
between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian nuclear
negotiator Saeed Jalili.
Mr. Solana has been representing the six powers in talks with Iran.
announcement comes as western nations appear to be edging in favor of
tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran if a diplomatic solution is not
found regarding its nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear activities
are for peaceful purposes, but the United States and European nations
in particular fear Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb.
speech in Vienna, outgoing chief of the International Atomic Energy
Agency Mohammed ElBaradei urged Iran to respond to outstanding
questions about its nuclear program and take up Washington's offer of a
"Addressing the concern
of the international community about Iran's future intentions is
primarily a matter of confidence building, which can only be achieved
through dialogue. I therefore very much welcome the offer of the
United States to initiate a dialogue with Iran without precondition and
on the basis of mutual respect. It is my hope that such a dialogue
will begin as early as possible," ElBaradei said.
Iran's nuclear head Ali Akhbar Salehi maintained a tough stance in his
own remarks to IAEA members. He said Iran must defend itself from
attacks on its nuclear facilities.