(JTA) — Talks on Iran’s nuclear program between the Islamic Republic and six world powers have been deemed a failure.
The talks held over the weekend in Istanbul between Iran and P5+1 — United Nations Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany — did not make progress in part because Iran came to the table with preconditions, including that it would not halt its uranium enrichment and wanted that right to be "recognized," according to reports citing P5+1 officials.
"This is not the conclusion I had hoped for," European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in Istanbul on Saturday. "We had hoped to embark on a discussion of practical ways forward and have made every effort to make that happen. We expect Iran to demonstrate a pragmatic attitude, and to respond positively to our openness toward dialogue and negotiations. The door remains open; the choice remains in Iran’s hands.
"It remains essential that Iran demonstrates that its [nuclear] program is exclusively for peaceful purposes," she added. "But so far the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] has not been able to certify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s program, given what the Agency states is a lack of sufficient cooperation by Iran."
On Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the failed talks, saying during a speech aired on live television that "They have talked for a few rounds, but we never expected that issues would be resolved during these few sessions because of the record and mentality of the other parties."
Ahmadinejad said he believed that results would be achieved in future sessions. He also said that "the uncultured Zionists and some power-hungry people in Europe and the U.S. are not interested in a good resolution of the issues."
"You cannot make Iran back down an inch from its course as it is now a nuclear state," Ahmadinejad concluded.
A date for future talks has not been set.