Iran has hinted at the possibility of scaling back its uranium enrichment plans, putting the west a little more at ease. During this week's round of negotiations — the first since newly elected president Hassan Rouhani and US President Barack Obama shared a phone call last month — Iran is looking for a compromise that will see the harsh economic sanctions on the country lifted.a The negotiations are centered on concern fromathe US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany thataIran's uranium enrichment program will give the country ready access to bomb-grade nuclear power. The Islamic nation maintains that its intentions for uranium are more altruistic in nature — it says it is refining uranium to meet the growing electricity needs of its expanding population and is also looking to produce isotopes for medical use. Participants in the negotiations have been keeping quiet about any proposals presented over the last two days, but some hints have nevertheless been dropped. Positive speculation Catherine Ashton, foreign policy chief at the European Union, told reporters that this week's negotiations "were the most detailed discussions we've ever had by a long way." Both she andaIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have hinted that the atmosphere was positive. Reuters reported that a senior US administration official was also optimistic that negotiations would go well, telling the publication that never before had they witnessed "such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation," and adding that "[a]lthough there remain many differences in each area, and what sanctions relief might be appropriate, specific and candid discussions took place." The hope that negotiations will reach a conclusion that is acceptable to all parties is the end goal. Showing support for the ongoing conversation was Foreign Secretary William Hague, who said in a statement that "Iran will need to take the necessary first steps on its programme and we are ready to take proportionate steps in return."