(photo credit: Associated Press)
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Wednesday he had a "constructive conversation" with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, on the latest attempt to resolve the international standoff over Teheran's nuclear program.
The telephone conversation was the first contact between the two men since Solana went to Teheran last week to offer a package of incentives on behalf of world powers to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium.
"I had a conversation today with Dr. Larijani on the phone, a constructive conversation, and it will be followed by others," Solana told reporters.
He did not elaborate on the content of the telephone call. Officials from Solana's office declined to give more details about the call but remained upbeat on the prospects for progress.
Solana is expected to brief Thursday's summit of EU leaders on his contacts with the Iranians.
On Monday, Solana said he expected a first response from the Iranians on the package by the end of this week.
"As I told you some days ago, we intended to have a contact before the weekend and we did," he said. "That's what I can say at this point."
Solana had hoped to meet Larijani this week in Spain, but the Iranian official canceled the trip for health reasons. In Larijani's place, Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki traveled to Madrid, where he described the incentive package as "a step forward."