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Iran nuclear talks yield only one agreement: Let's meet again

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Likewise, Iran held fast to its demand that the P5+1 recognize its "inalienable right" to enrich uranium "at all levels," and to remove increasingly severe sanctions that are damaging its economy.

The two sides late last night agreed to hold a technical meeting July 3 in Istanbul, Turkey, to better "understand" and "study" each other's positions. This is to be followed by contact between political deputies, and finally direct contact between chief negotiators Catherine Ashton for the P5+1 and Saeed Jalili for Iran about a possible next meeting. 

No breakthrough initiatives

But, aside from far more detailed explanations of positions, there was little evidence of new flexibility.

"We did not put on the table significant sanctions relief," said a senior US administration official. Instead sanctions would be "ongoing and intensifying" as US measures targeting Iran's central bank and a European oil embargo come into force next week.

"All of our sanctions will go into effect on July 1, and there will be further sanctions to come, so our dual-track policy is not changing," said the senior US official. "Because we are in negotiations, the second track, the pressure track, is not stopping because in fact they haven't taken any concrete action."

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