Iran agrees to new nuclear talks with EU, UN leaders

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a press conference in Tehran on November 29, 2010 where he said that Iran's right to enrich uranium and produce (nuclear) fuel is "non-negotiable", as six major powers prepare to hold a new round of talks with Iran on its nuclear programme next month. (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)



November 30, 2010 (KATAKAMI / FRANCE 24 / AFP) – Iran agreed Tuesday to a new round of talks in Geneva on December 6 and 7 with world powers on its controversial nuclear programme, an EU foreign affairs spokesman said.

Iran chief negotiator Said Jalili will meet for talks with EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton, who will lead the international delegation, the spokesman said.

“We’ve now received a response from the Iranian authorities in which they have said that Dr. Jalili has accepted Catherine Ashton’s proposal to meet in Geneva,” the spokesman said.

“Talks between Catherine Ashton and Dr. Jalili will now take place on Monday and Tuesday next week in Geneva.”

Ashton would lead the so-called “3+3” or “5+1” group of nations negotiating with Iran made up of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain) and Germany.

The talks will be the first between Iran and six world powers since October 2009.

Disagreement over the agenda has held up the talks. The world powers want the talks to focus on Iran’s uranium enrichment programme but Tehran wants a wider discussion that includes regional security issues.

The United States, Europe and Israel fear that Iran wants to use nuclear technology to build a bomb, but Tehran insists that its programme is a peaceful drive to produce civilian energy.  (*)

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