Oct. 15 - International talks in Geneva are seen as the best chance in years to end deadlock over Iran's nuclear program. Paul Chapman reports.
Delegates arrived early at the United Nations headquarters on Tuesday for international talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme. The talks are resuming after a six-month gap. Iran faces pressure to come up with ways to scale back its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions. But the talks in Geneva are seen as the best chance in years to end the deadlock in a decade-long dispute that could otherwise trigger a new Middle East war. The election of relative moderate Hassan Rouhani as Iran's new president, and his pledges to smooth Tehran's international relations, have raised hopes of a negotiated solution. Speaking on the eve of the talks the European Union's foreign policy chief said she was cautiously optimistic about the coming two days. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF CATHERINE ASHTON SAYING: "I hope that what we'll have here is a very productive two days, an opportunity to explore both the proposals that we've put on the table, but also ideas that are coming from Iran. I hope that in the course of that time there'll be an opportunity to really to into the detail and to explore the possibilities." The United States and its allies suspect Iran is seeking to develop the capability to make nuclear weapons. Iran denies that but has rejected U.N. demands to stop enriching uranium and has continued to expand its nuclear fuel programme.