The Iranian delegation was said to be more open than expected to discussing its nuclear program with top diplomats. Ms. Ashton was representing the so-called P5+1 nations (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany). US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns – who held brief bilateral talks with Mr. Jalili at the last round of talks in October 2009 – was also at the table, along with other senior P5+1 officials.
“The choices are clear for Iran: it can face growing isolation or cooperate,” an EU official who asked not to be named told Reuters.
As part of its pre-talks posturing, the head of Iran's nuclear agency announced on Sunday that it had delivered its first shipment of homemade yellowcake – the raw material for enrichment, made from indigenous Iranian uranium. Iran claimed that it is now for the first time “self-sufficient” in the entire nuclear fuel cycle.
Iranian media emphasized Mr. Jalili’s tough opening gambit in Geneva, reporting that he used the first session to condemn the P5+1 for its silence over two bomb attacks in Tehran last week that killed nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari and wounded another, Fereydoun Abbasi. Mr. Abbasi topped the list of designated Iranians “involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities” in a 2007 UN Security Council resolution – a status that Iranian officials say made him a target.