larijani grin 248 88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Negotiators for Iran and the European Union failed to reach a deal in their latest round of talks but insisted - without elaborating - they had made progress and "come to some positive conclusions," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said.
Neither Larijani nor EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana gave any details of what had been achieved, but both spoke positively of the discussions over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.
"We have had long, constructive negotiations" Larijani said. "We have been able to come to some positive conclusions."
Soland said, "We have been progressing."
"But still, we have some issues, that have been put but have not been closed," Solana said, adding that the two sides "will keep in touch."
Solana said he hoped to have further telephone contact with the Iranian side later this week, but he gave no specifics. Larijani indicated they had discussed how future negotiations could proceed and expressed hope they could "embark on the main negotiations as soon as possible."
Solana and Larijani are holding the latest round of talks over a package of incentives that six countries - the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany - are offering Tehran in return for suspending its uranium enrichment program and returning to full-scale negotiations.
Iran missed an Aug. 31 Security Council deadline over the issue. The six are considering seeking sanctions in the UN Security Council if Tehran does not comply.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Solana on Wednesday and renewed US support for his talks with Iran, she told reporters in Washington.
Rice said if Larijani agreed to a suspension of processing uranium "we would be on a course for negotiations."
But, Rice told reporters, she had told Solana "clearly this won't go on very much longer."
Solana is to report back to the six countries trying to persuade Iran to give up its program to enrich uranium.
Germany has joined with the permanent UN Security Council members in pressing Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program, which Iran says is peaceful.
Enriched uranium can be used for power plants or for weapons, depending on the level of enrichment.