Iran Expects Lengthy Talks over Nuclear Program

Article excerpt

Senior Iranian officials said on Tuesday that they were ready for long and complicated negotiations but that Iran would not accept the dismantling of its nuclear facilities.

The effort to negotiate a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue began in earnest on Tuesday, with Iranian negotiators having one-on-one meetings with American officials and those of some of the other major powers.

Senior Iranian officials said on Tuesday that they were ready for long and complicated negotiations but that Iran would not accept the dismantling of its nuclear facilities. Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister and deputy nuclear negotiator, told reporters here that the talks had started well, but "to us, what has been announced as dismantling Iran's program and facilities is not on the agenda."

There was little substantive news to emerge on the first day of the talks, which are intended to arrange an agenda and program to try to resolve all the complicated technical, political, financial and military aspects of Iran's confrontation with the United Nations Security Council over Tehran's nuclear program before the end of July. To that end, Wendy R. Sherman, the American lead negotiator, and Mr. …