- Israel: Only sanctions can ensure a genuine diplomatic solution with Iran
- Netanyahu: Israel has learned never to rule out preemptive strikes
EU spokesman Michael Mann briefed reporters on the beginning of talks on Tuesday and said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gave a PowerPoint presentation of the Iranian proposal to the P5+1 powers – U.S., Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France – on Tuesday morning. The name of the presentation was "Ending unnecessary crisis – opening new horizons."
"The six world powers were surprised by the seriousness of our proposal," said Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi. "We agreed not to share details of it with the press."
"There is a positive atmosphere. Our plan was given and it's planned that in the afternoon we will discuss more details, but the first reactions were good," Araghchi told reporters after the morning session broke for lunch. "It's a completely realistic, balanced and logical plan."
Mann said the Iranian presentation was "very useful."
"We hope that Iran will come with constructive ideas today we want to move forward quickly," Mann said. "The atmosphere is different with the new Iranian team," he added.
"We have a proposal on the table for confidence building measures, but the confidence building has to come from the Iranian side," Mann said.
Senior officials in the Obama administration said Monday that U.S. pressure on Iran will continue until the latter has implemented significant steps to halt its nuclear program.
A senior American official said any relief of sanctions would depend on the character and extent of the Iranian steps, pointing out that it was the international pressure itself that led Iran to the negotiating table.
"No one should expect a breakthrough overnight," the official said. Any potential sanctions relief, the official said, would be "targeted, proportional to what Iran puts on the table."
Iran must deliver if it wants to receive, the official added.
Contrary to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's warning that any easing of sanctions would lead to a total collapse in efforts to curb the Iranian nuclear program, the U.S. official said the administration has been clear in its plan for limited action and did not expect it to affect the sanctions.