April 9, 2012 1:25:08 am
The US and its allies will demand that Iran halt higher-grade uranium enrichment and immediately close an underground nuclear facility at a new round of talks this week over Tehrans nuclear standoff with the West,a senior US official said.
The negotiations between Iran and world powers a resumption of talks that collapsed more than a year ago will be held on April 14 in Istanbul,a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.
The Obama administration sought to define the parametres for the much-anticipated meeting,which it has said could represent Tehrans last chance to resolve the nuclear dispute diplomatically.
A senior US official said on Sunday that one of the near-term priorities would be to get Iran to agree to immediately shut its recently completed Fordow facility,built under a mountain near the city of Qom. The New York Times reported that negotiators for the West would press Iran to ultimately dismantle the site,which is reported to have been used to expand uranium enrichment.
Another key opening demand from Washington and its allies will be for Iran to stop production altogether of 20 per cent enriched uranium,the official said.
Nuclear bombs require uranium enriched to 90 percent,but much of the effort required to get there is already achieved once it reaches 20 per cent purity.
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