|Germany aims for concrete steps at Iran nuclear talks||
FRANKFURT – Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Saturday he hopes for concrete steps to build mutual trust at the talks about Iran’s nuclear program starting Tuesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
“Unfortunately, much time has been lost,” said Mr. Westerwelle in a statement, and “we want to reach the start of a substantial negotiation process about Iran’s nuclear program.”
The E3+3 group of the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Russia and China has made a reasonable offer and results are possible on this basis, he added.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has confirmed the E3+3 will make an updated offer to Iran in a bid to persuade it to curtail its nuclear activities.
The Almaty meeting will be the first top-level meeting on Iran’s nuclear program since June. During that time, Tehran has significantly advanced its nuclear capabilities, according to U.S. and European officials.
On Thursday, the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported that Iran had installed nearly 200 of its more advanced centrifuge machines at the Natanz uranium-enrichment facility in central Iran. These machines are seen as capable of tripling the speed at which Iran grows its stockpile of fissile material.
The U.S. and some European countries accuse Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Iran has always denied.
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