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The West holds its first Iran talks in 14 months

[ 2010-12-07 13:42]     字号 [] [] []  
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World powers held their first meeting in 14 months with Iran over its disputed nuclear program on Monday, sounding out Teheran's intentions after it claimed to have taken a new step in making fissile material.

Just a day ahead of the talks, Teheran raised the stakes by revealing that it had mined and produced its first home-grown batch of uranium yellowcake instead of seeking to import new supplies.

That triggered statements of concern in Washington and Europe ahead of the meeting in Geneva between the European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, and Iran's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili.

The negotiations, scheduled to last two days, began promptly on Monday morning at the building of the Swiss mission to the UN, with Ashton, Jalili and officials from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States sitting around a table, Swiss organizers said.

Jalili began talks by making a strong protest against the recent assassination of a top nuclear scientist in Teheran, according to Iranian sources.

A diplomat close to the world powers said before the talks opened that "we are expecting a serious response from the Iranians. We do not know what is Iran's state of mind."

A Western official said that a second plenary would be held later on Monday after the talks broke for lunch, while another diplomat added that bilateral meetings with the Iranians would also be held.

The meeting is taking place amid tougher international sanctions on Teheran and few hopes that a deal can be struck.


1. What is the capital of Iran?

2. How many months has it been since the last meeting?

3. What is the name of Iran’s chief negotiator?


1. Teheran.

2. 14 months.

3. Saeed Jalili.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

The West holds its first Iran talks in 14 months

About the broadcaster:

The West holds its first Iran talks in 14 months

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.