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Iran, U.N. Powers Break Talks Without Plan to Implement Nuclear Deal

Technicians work at Iran's uranium conversion facility in 2005. Tehran and six major governments on Thursday ended a four-day meeting without reaching agreement on details for carrying out a nuclear accord reached in November (Getty Images). Technicians work at Iran's uranium conversion facility in 2005. Tehran and six major governments on Thursday ended a four-day meeting without reaching agreement on details for carrying out a nuclear accord reached in November (Getty Images).

Iran and six key governments ended talks on Thursday without agreeing on details for carrying out last month's nuclear deal, the European Union said.

"After four days of lengthy and detailed talks, reflecting the complexity of the technical issues discussed, it became clear that further work is needed," Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said in comments reported by Reuters. Ashton has communicated with Iran on behalf of the six other negotiating powers: China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Experts from Iran were trying to hammer out specifics with international counterparts on how to implement the six-month arrangement, which calls for the Middle Eastern nation to restrict certain elements of its nuclear program in exchange for a degree of relief from global economic pressure. Washington and its allies hope the agreement reached last month will lead to longer-term restrictions on Iranian activities widely suspected to be geared toward development of a nuclear-arms capacity.

Mann added: "There will now be consultations in capitals, in the expectation that technical talks will continue soon."

He did not say if sticking points emerged during the meeting, which several days ago prompted signals of hope from Iranian delegates.

Speaking anonymously, one EU diplomat suggested that Tehran withdrew from the talks in response to new sanctions adopted on Thursday by the United States, Reuters reported separately.

"The Iranians have been committed to making this work," the insider said. "We are not panicking."

Focuses at the meeting included the timing and methods of International Atomic Energy Agency activities planned under the accord. The U.N. nuclear watchdog is expected to expand operations in Iran to help ensure the deal's terms are being met.

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