|Iran, world powers to meet for expert-level nuke talks
Iran and world powers agreed on Wednesday to hold new talks in March and April over the Islamic republic's disputed nuclear drive, with Tehran hailing a "more realistic'' approach by their counterparts at two days of talks in Kazakhstan.
There was no sign of a breakthrough in the decade-long deadlock over Iran's nuclear ambitions in the Kazakh city of Almaty but the agreement on new meetings suggested there was still potential for progress, AFP reports.
The talks saw the six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- offer Iran a softening of sanctions in exchange for concessions from Tehran over its sensitive uranium enrichment operations.
"Some of the points raised in their (the world powers') response were more realistic, compared to what they said in the past,'' Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili told reporters after the talks.
Uranium enrichment is the most sensitive part of the nuclear cycle as the process can be used to make both nuclear fuel and the explosive core of a nuclear bomb, which world powers fear Iran wants to develop.
But in contrast to the acrimony that has followed some past encounters, Jalili said he viewed the overall tenor of the meeting as "positive.''
"We consider these talks as a positive step which could be completed by taking a positive and constructive approach and taking reciprocal steps,'' he said.
The two sides would next meet at the level of senior civil servants on March 17-18 in Istanbul, officials said.
The next high-level talks involving Jalili and the six world powers represented by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton would also be in Almaty, from April 5-6, both sides confirmed.