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Iran makes its nuclear case – with PowerPoint

The complete set of PowerPoint slides that Iran used during a meeting with world powers are now public.

By Staff writer / July 9, 2012

In this photo, Iran's Chief Negotiator Saeed Jalili meets with reporters in Moscow, last month. Newly published PowerPoint presentations, originally presented by Iran at the most recent high-level nuclear talks with world powers are now public.

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

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Istanbul, Turkey

Newly published PowerPoint presentations, originally presented by Iran at the most recent high-level nuclear talks with world powers, lay out a maximalist opening position that appears to offer little room for compromise over Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

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In slide after slide, the Islamic Republic justifies the most sensitive aspect of its work that world powers are demanding be stopped: uranium enrichment to 20 percent – which is a few technical steps away from bomb-grade material – at a deeply buried facility called Fordow. 

The presentations, first made in Moscow last month, show how hardline positions staked out in public, as well as uncompromising rhetoric from politicians about the nuclear talks, translates into negotiating points.

And while there have been strong hints from Iran – at the negotiating table, Iranian officials say, and in public – that it would cut a deal on 20 percent enrichment, the PowerPoint slides shown in Moscow are a tough rejoinder to the equally tough opening demands made by the P5+1 group (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) in Baghdad in May.

P5+1 negotiators back then said their own opening bid was “maximalist,” and expected Iran to respond in kind. Besides halting 20 percent enrichment, shipping abroad its stockpile and closing Fordow, Iran was asked to suspend all levels of enrichment and explain charges of past weapons-related work – in keeping with United Nations Security Council resolutions – but all without relief from ever-tightening sanctions relief that are a top priority for Iran.

It was announced today that the next round of talks will take place in Istanbul on July 24 between deputies of the top negotiators. The EU's Helga Schmid will represent the P5+1 and sit across the table from her Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri. "The objective for the meeting ... is to look further at how existing gaps in positions could be narrowed and how the process could be moved forward," a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

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