UK & World News
Iran Nuclear Talks 'Constructive And Useful'
Talks between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme were "constructive and useful", said the European Union's foreign policy chief.
The so-called E3+3 countries of Britain, France, Germany, America, Russia and China sent officials to Istanbul, Turkey, for face-to-face talks for the first time in 15 months.
Iran sent its chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who said his team "saw a positive approach (from the other side) and we consider it a step forward".
Leading the discussions was EU foreign policy chief Baroness Catherine Ashton who told a news conference she wanted to move to a "sustained process of dialogue".
She said negotiators would take a "step-by-step" approach, adding they had arranged to meet the Iranian delegation again in Baghdad, Iraq on May 23.
Baroness Ashton went on: "The discussion on the Iranian nuclear issue have been constructive and useful.
"We want now to move to a sustained process of serious dialogue, where we can take urgent, practical steps to build confidence."
Western participants had said previously that agreeing to meet for a second round of talks would constitute a successful day.
Sky sources said the first sessions between the parties had gone better than the last time they met.
In Istanbul in January 2011, the Iranians announced pre-conditions - demanding sanctions be lifted before discussions over the nuclear programme could begin.
The tone of Iran's negotiator was said to be "calm and constructive".
Diplomats are judging whether they believe the Iranians are serious about trying to find a resolution to the crisis.
Baroness Ashton wants so-called "confidence building" measures. This may involve greater access for international nuclear inspectors and for the Iranians to demonstrate their commitment to civil nuclear power.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful means but the west fears Iran is trying to put together the know-how to build a nuclear bomb.
Ahead of the talks President Barack Obama said he believed this was a last chance for diplomacy to work.
Israel's patience with Iran is running out and it has not ruled out a unilateral air strike against Iran's nuclear installations.
Iran hid an enrichment programme from the world for 18 years raising international doubts about its nuclear programme.
The complications is that the technology used to enrich uranium to the level needed for nuclear power can also be used to enrich it to the higher level needed for a nuclear explosion.
The nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), expressed concern in a recent report that Iran had carried out activities "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device".
The IAEA said Iran had used computer modelling on the behaviour of a nuclear device.
The UN has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran, and an EU ban on oil exports comes into full force at the beginning of July.
Western diplomats are trying to push Iran back to the negotiating table through biting sanctions and international pressure.