At a midday break, diplomats said the tone has been "civil" but a US official says Iran's delegation lacks the 'cohesion and confidence' to make a deal.
Keystone Dominic Favre/AP
"We want these talks to be successful and we want logic to dominate the atmosphere of the talks," an unnamed Iranian official told Reuters.
But Tehran's recent declaration of a secret second nuclear enrichment facility and new missile tests this week will likely affect its strategy in the meeting with the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China – the permanent five members of the UN Security Council – plus Germany, a group known as P5+1.
"Now with the second installation revealed, it may be that [the Iranians] allow more transparency in some of the recognized [nuclear] sites, in order to divide the P5+1 and to stop the momentum against them," says Shahram Chubin, a Carnegie Endowment nonproliferation specialist based in Geneva.
US Undersecretary of State William Burns is heading the American delegation at the first such high-level talks since President Barack Obama took office on promises to pursue dialogue with Tehran. Unlike the last such meeting in July 2008 – held during the final months of George W. Bush's presidency – Mr. Burns has been given authority to engage the Iranians directly in what is expected to be a one-day affair, but could extend through Friday.
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