Iran hopes May 23 talks with world powers in Baghdad over its disputed nuclear programme will result in “success,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday, according to ISNA news agency.
“The Istanbul talks were a success and we hope that the Baghdad meeting also will be a success, and if we took one step forward in Istanbul surely, with God’s help, we will take several steps ahead in Baghdad,” Salehi said in a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart.
“We were at the beginning of the end regarding (Iran’s) nuclear issue in Istanbul, and we hope in a not-so-far future we will witness the closure of this manufactured dossier,” he added.
Iran is to meet representatives of the so-called P5+1 group, comprising the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, in Iraq’s capital for the second round of talks which were revived this month in Istanbul after a 15-month impasse.
The Istanbul talks sought to establish a non-confrontational tone allowing the more substantial Baghdad session to go ahead.
Iran is going into the meeting with the aim of rolling back Western economic sanctions imposed to pressure it over its nuclear activities. Tehran denies Western allegations that the activities include efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability.
The P5+1, though, are seeking ways to verify Iran’s programme is exclusively peaceful.
Discussions are seen as likely to focus on whether Iran should be permitted to continue enriching uranium to 20 percent, several steps short of the 90 percent needed for military uses.
Los Angeles Times newspaper last Friday quoted US officials as saying Washington could consider allowing Tehran to enrich uranium to five percent only — a compromise from a previous position ruling out any enrichment.
The UN Security Council has imposed four rounds of its own sanctions on Iran because of suspicions about its nuclear programme, aired by the International Atomic Energy Agency in November 2011 and reiterated in February.
Salehi declined to go into details on the likely content of the Baghdad talks.
“Please allow the details to surface after the Baghdad meeting. There are a number of analyses and views going around which are premature to talk about,” he said.