Talks with Iran enter 2nd day

Positive feedback given after talks with Iran enter day 2 in Baghdad.


BAGHDAD - Talks between Iran and world powers to defuse a dispute about Iran's nuclear goals go into a second day on Thursday in Baghdad, Iraq.

Washington is cautiously hopeful of progress towards an agreed framework for addressing concerns that Tehran wants to build an atom bomb.

"I believe we have the beginning of a negotiation," a senior U.S. official said of the discussions, which opened on Wednesday.

The talks hope to renew effort at diplomacy that will seek to ease decades of ingrained mistrust.

The discussions, watched closely by global oil markets as well as by Iran's arch-enemy Israel, are aimed at exploring ways to settle a long-standing dispute about a nuclear energy programme the West suspects is aimed at nuclear bomb research.

Tehran has long stated the programme is strictly for peaceful purposes.

In previous meetings, the two sides could not even agree on an agenda, with each largely repeating known positions and Tehran refusing any dialogue on changes to its nuclear path.

But international energy markets remain nervous, unsettled by extended Western sanctions imposed on Iran's crude exports and the spectre of a Middle East conflict arising from possible Israeli strikes against Iran's nuclear installations.

Speaking after the first day of discussions, the senior U.S. official said the meeting revealed a "fair amount of disagreement" but also areas of common ground.