Iran to Hold Nuclear Talks With Major Powers on Thursday

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Iran’s foreign minister will meet on Thursday with his counterparts from six world powers negotiating with Tehran on its controversial nuclear program, Iranian news agency IRNA reported Monday.

Mohammad Javad Zarif had a meeting with Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday to discuss future steps in reviving the long-stalled nuclear talks between the Islamic republic and the so-called Iran Six group of mediators: Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

“We held talks with Ashton and agreed on a meeting with Iran Six foreign ministers in New York on Thursday to continue the dialogue,” IRNA quoted Zarif as saying.

Recently elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier this month transferred the authority to conduct nuclear talks from Iran’s Supreme National Security Council to the Foreign Ministry, and Zarif became the country’s top nuclear negotiator.

Western countries suspect Iran of using its nuclear program to develop atomic weapons, a claim that Iran has consistently denied. Tehran claims it needs atomic technology for producing electricity, although it has some of the world’s largest reserves of oil and gas.

Washington said in August that the United States was prepared to work with Iran’s new government if it chooses “to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue.”

 

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