Nuclear talks ‘most probably’ in Istanbul: Iran


A new round of talks on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme will “most probably” take place in Istanbul, Tehran’s foreign minister said during a visit to Turkey Wednesday, Turkish media reported.
“I am not sure, but most probably it will be in Istanbul,” Ali Akbar Salehi said, a year after the last round of talks collapsed. The date will be set in “the near future,” Salehi was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.
Iranian officials have said Tehran is ready for talks with world powers on its nuclear programme, which the West believes masks a drive to develop atomic weapons. Tehran insists the nuclear drive is exclusively for peaceful purposes. In Ankara, Salehi said his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, was in contact with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton.
The negotiations between the Islamic republic and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany — were last held in Istanbul in January 2011, but made no progress. Salehi was due to meet Wednesday with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, an embassy spokesman said, adding that political and economic issues would figure high on the agenda, without elaborating.