MOSCOW, June 19 (Reuters) - Iran and world powers failed to resolve differences over Tehran's nuclear programme on Tuesday and agreed only to hold a technical follow-up meeting in Istanbul on July 3, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.
Ashton, who led the delegation representing the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany at two days of talks in Moscow, told reporters significant differences remained between the two sides.
"The choice is Iran's. We expect Iran to decide whether it is willing to make diplomacy work to focus on concrete confidence-building steps and to address the concerns of the international community," Ashton told reporters after the close of the talks on Tuesday.
"But there's a very, very long way to go," she stressed.
She also said the follow-up meeting would focus purely on technical details rather than broader political issues.
The six powers want Tehran to stop enriching uranium to levels that bring it closer to acquiring weapons-grade material, but Iran has demanded relief from economic sanctions and an acknowledgement that it has the right to enrich uranium.
If negotiations fail to bring a solution, anxiety could grow on financial markets over the danger of higher oil prices and conflict in the Middle East as Israel has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to stop Tehran getting the bomb, something the Islamic Republic denies it is seeking. (Reporting by Justyna Pawlak and Thomas Grove; Writing by Timothy Heritage and Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)