Iran nuclear talks to resume in two weeks

AFP, Friday 7 Jan 2011

Iran nuclear talks with the P5 + 1 will resume 20 January

Talks between world powers and Iran on its controversial nuclear programme are expected to resume 20 January in Istanbul, a spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told AFP.

"It's a tentative date we're looking at," said Ashton's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic. "We have positive feedback from Iran."

A previous round of talks between Iran and six world powers, Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, which were chaired by Ashton, took place in Geneva on 6-7 December .

That round followed a 14-month hiatus in the discussions.

The talks in the Turkish city were expected to last one and half days, the spokeswoman added.

The EU has been invited by Tehran to tour its nuclear sites, along with other nations.

But it said this week that it was up to UN inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out the visits.

A spokesman for Ashton said last Wednesday that the EU had received an invitation from Iran but added: "It is for the IAEA to visit."

Iran's foreign ministry said this week that invitations to visit Iran's nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak had been sent to ambassadors of some of the nations represented in the IAEA.

Diplomatic sources at the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog said the invites had gone out to Russia, China, Egypt and Cuba as well as to Hungary as rotating president of the European Union.

The EU official said the bloc had not answered the letter and reiterated that the IAEA "are the people who have to inspect the Iranian nuclear facilities."

IAEA sources said Britain, France, Germany and the United States were not on the list of countries invited to see the sites.

Short link: