IAEA meeting adjourned as powers haggle over Iran

The UN atomic agency's board Wednesday adjourned talks until Thursday while world powers haggle over a joint statement on the possible resumption of negotiations with Iran, diplomats said.

The third day of a regular quarterly talks among the 35 nations currently on the International Atomic Energy Agency's steering committee at its Vienna headquarters were abandoned around an hour after they started.

Envoys played down any talk of major differences in formulating a joint text to be presented to the board, however, saying working out the exact wording was a normal process.

On Tuesday EU foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton said on behalf Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany that they were ready to hold talks with Iran.

It remained to be agreed where and when the negotiations would be held. The previous talks broke down in Turkey in January 2011.

The possible resumption comes despite an apparent deadlock between the IAEA and Iran over the Islamic republic's nuclear program – which world powers want to be central to the talks – after two visits to Tehran in January and February.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon