The political directors of the E3+3 group (France, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia and the United States), led by Catherine Ashton, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, had a meeting with an Iranian delegation in Moscow on 18-19 June.
United on the proposal they made in Baghdad on 23 and 24 May, the Six reaffirmed the value of that offer and invited Iran to respond constructively without delay. The Six also commented on the ideas presented by the Iranians in Iraq.
Iran's responses to the offer by the Six confirmed the significant gap between the two parties' positions and Iran's insistence on the right to enrich uranium and on the lifting of all sanctions. We regret that Iran still has not made the concrete gestures we have been expecting, which could be a first step towards complying with the resolutions of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors.
The pressure on Iran must now be stepped up with the EU's full implementation, on 1 July, of the oil embargo decided in January. Sanctions will continue to be toughened as long as Iran refuses to negotiate seriously.
In keeping with our two-pronged approach, the door to dialogue remains open. A meeting of experts scheduled for 3 July in Istanbul could help clarify the technical details of the ideas put forward by the two parties. On this basis, we and our E3+3 partners will assess the process's next steps.
It is now up to Iran to remove the obstacles she has put in the way of furthering the process revived in Istanbul in April 2012.