BAGHDAD - Iran and world powers will meet in Moscow on June 18-19 for
more talks to try solve a long-standing dispute about an Iranian nuclear
energy program, European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton said on Thursday.
Speaking after two days of discussions
between envoys from Iran and six leading powers to try to defuse Western
fears of a covert Iranian effort to develop nuclear bombs, Ashton said
it was clear both sides wanted progress and had some common ground but
they also had significant differences.
"We will maintain
intensive contacts with our Iranian counterparts to prepare a further
meeting in Moscow," she told a news conference in the Iraqi capital
Baghdad, the venue for the latest meeting.
Ashton, who leads the
negotiations for the six-country group known as the P5+1, said the
global powers wanted practical steps from Iran to address concerns over
its nuclear work.
Chief among such concerns is Iran's ability to enrich uranium to a fissile purity of 20 percent.
is the nuclear advance most worrying to the West since it hurdles
technical obstacles to reaching 90 percent, or bomb-grade, enrichment.
Iran says it will not exceed 20 percent and the material will be made
into fuel for a research reactor.
"Iran declared its readiness to
address the issue of 20 percent enrichment and came with its own five
point plan, including their assertion that we recognize their right to
enrichment," Ashton added.