Long-stalled talks between Iran and world powers are to be revived on April 13 at a place yet to be agreed,Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by official media today.
Salehi announced the date as he welcomed visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran for a two-day visit focusing on Iran’s nuclear programme and bilateral ties,the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
“The venue will be announced in coming days,” IRNA quoted Salehi as saying.
Salehi said Iran considered Istanbul — the location of the previous round of talks,which collapsed in January 2011 — the “best place” but that options were still being discussed.
The discussions are to be held between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group comprising the five permanent UN Security Council members — the United States,Russia,France,Britain and China — plus Germany.
The office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton,who represents the P5+1,had said as recently as Tuesday that no date nor venue had yet been agreed.
Western diplomats accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna also told AFP up to yesterday that they were not aware of any agreement fixing the place and date of the talks.
The talks carry hopes of defusing a tense international showdown over Iran’s nuclear activities that has sent oil prices soaring.
Israel has brandished the threat of possible military action against Iran’s nuclear sites,while the United States has put its energies into sanctions and diplomacy but has not
ruled out the military option.