"[W]e don't want Geneva 2013 to turn into Munich 1938"

“We view the nuclear talks in Geneva with hope and with concern. We see the worrying signs and we don’t want Geneva 2013 to turn into Munich 1938,” International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said in remarks broadcast by Israel’s army radio.

Steinitz was alluding to the 1938 Munich agreement under which Britain and France agreed to the annexation of large swathes of then Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in a failed bid to avert war.

The remarks came as Iranian negotiators and counterparts from the European Union-chaired P5+1 group — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia, plus Germany — met behind closed doors in Geneva to discuss Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.

The Geneva talks, which began Tuesday, ended a six-month freeze in dialogue sparked by Iran’s refusal to curb uranium enrichment in exchange for easing the punishing international sanctions that have battered its economy.