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US, Iran face off at six-power N-talks
Six world powers held talks with Iran on Thursday that US officials said would need to convince them Tehran was prepared to show it was not hiding plans for a nuclear bomb.

Underlining they would not threaten fresh sanctions against Tehran but had prepared them in case the talks made no progress, Washington also said there could be an opportunity for a rare bilateral meeting with the Iranians.

“This can’t be a phony process,” a senior US official said in Washington. “It can’t be a process where they go through the motions.”

US diplomats sat alongside those from Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China for the talks near Geneva on how to end the long-running standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme, which Tehran says is designed purely for generating electricity.

Tehran had said the programme was not up for discussion and the talks should focus on regional issues like Afghanistan, but a Western diplomat close to the meeting said Iran’s nuclear negotiator had touched on it in his opening statement.

The diplomat said it was not yet clear if the Iranians would give any signs behind closed doors that they would be open to a compromise on the issue of suspending uranium enrichment, as demanded by five UN Security Council resolutions.

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