Western Countries Meet Iran for Critical Nuclear Talks in Geneva

Thursday, October 1 2009, the US and five western world leaders will meet with Iranian officials in Geneva to discuss the country’s nuclear activities, in hopes of ending the Iranian’s nuclear enrichment program.

The group of world leaders, which includes the U.N. Security Council members and Germany, will meet with Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili, offering hope that both sides are looking to reach an agreement. If talks fail, the West is likely to renew its push for a fourth set of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Tensions have been mounting recently, after the discovery of a secret, underground uranium enrichment plant in Iran. The West continues to suspect that Iran’s nuclear activities have military intentions. Tehran, however, strongly defends the program, contending uranium enrichments are for civilian power reactors.

According to a State Department spokesperson, P.J. Crowley, talks will likely take time, as subsequent meetings are expected before an agreement can be reached. “We’re not going to make a snap judgment on Thursday,” he told reporters. “We’re going to see how that meeting goes, evaluate the willingness of Iran to engage on these issues.”

President Obama only expects to come to a conclusion at the end of the year, spending the next few months assessing the situation fully and consulting with fellow world leaders before deciding next steps.

While Western allies are continuously seeking to strictly enforce limitations, Iran defiantly refuses to consider any limitations on their enrichment activities. In 2006, the five nations proposed concessions to Tehran in exchange for a full stop to its nuclear enrichment program. Since then, despite three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions and growing isolation from the rest of the world’s countries, the program has merely expanded.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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