(NEW YORK) — Will talks with Iran about its nuclear program get off the ground this weekend in Istanbul, Turkey?
As in the past, Tehran has been dropping encouraging hints that it might be willing to compromise on several major points, including the controversial uranium enrichment program that Washington and most of the world say Iran is using to develop a nuclear arsenal.
The latest from the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization is that it doesn’t have to enrich uranium above the 20 percent level required for energy production. Ninety percent enrichment is necessary for weapons-grade uranium.
While that would probably be well and good for the “5+1 powers” — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany — Israel wants Iran to completely stop its uranium enrichment, fearing it has the most to lose if Tehran gets atomic bombs.
Meanwhile, signs of Iran backpedaling have already started, with Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi warning against “preconditions” being set for talks that broke off abruptly in early 2011.
The first meeting between the 5+1 and Iran is due to take place Saturday in Turkey, with Iran choosing Baghdad for the second round of discussions, although that venue is still tentative.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN